Corruption of Culture
In Yukio Mishima's "Swaddling Clothes" we see a great deal of symbolism portraying the corruption of the Japanese culture. The times are changing and with that change, culture is adapting to it. Some of the Japanese feel threatened and that the changes that are being made are corrupting their moral values. The story is told through Toshiko, a lonely and seemingly oppressed wife and mother. She shows how this corruption is leading to decay. The story depicts the corruption of Japanese culture by western modernization.
Japanese culture is becoming more westernized, "unhomely with its Western-style furniture..." (366). The air of the room being unhomely because some Japanese thought that Western-style was corrupt. Toshiko's husband is accepting these changes, "sitting there in his American-style suit, puffing at a cigarette" (366). The city they live in is changing as well, "dotted with bars and then by a theatre" (368).
The park that Toshiko visits had also changed, "The paper lanterns that hung from wires between the trees had been put out; in their place electric light bulbs...that shone dully beneath the blossoms" (369). The word dully being used to show that western-style is dull and dreary. Violence is one of the concepts Toshiko relates to western culture.
Toshiko believes western style is violent, "his frail body was wrapped in bloodstained newspapers" (367), showing the degradation of moral values in this westernized society. When Toshiko's husband is sitting there talking with his friends he jokes about the incident and stating "I rescued our good rug... (367), this showing that his mind is corrupt with the western culture because he did not care about the well being of the nurse and the blood did not faze him. The baby is a symbol of the violence in the western culture as...