Show how the author of "Memoirs of a Geisha", Arthur Golden, portrays the effects of Japanese society on the individual, Sayuri Nitta, through his use of effective language techniques.

Essay by sileas451High School, 11th gradeA-, April 2004

download word file, 8 pages 4.6 2 reviews

Downloaded 86 times

"Memoirs of a Geisha" by Arthur Golden, is a beautifully written epic tale which envelopes the reader instantly; revealing Golden's ability to include a realism inside an engrossing, yet fictional narrative, resulting in the novel becoming a bestseller enjoyed the world over. Through his use of delicately descriptive and poetic language, Arthur Golden superbly portrays the effects of the harshness of Japanese society on the individual, Sayuri Nitta.

Golden hands the narrative point of view to that of Chiyo Sakamoto - later, Sayuri Nitta - explaining her tragic life in a hostile world through her nine-year-old eyes; a child sold by her family to a geisha okiya, where, forced by society at that time, she has no other choice but to begin the ongoing struggle to become a geisha in order to attain at least some enjoyment and respect in her life.

By telling the narrative through Chiyo, Golden also allows the reader some insight into the effects that the world and events around Chiyo is having on her subconsciously, through her thoughts and actions which she both does and does not pick up on herself, hence showing the reader the alteration in Chiyo's development and perspective in life.

When Sayuri is taken from her childhood home in Yoroido, she begins to lose her childhood innocence and view life from a different outlook, so developing earlier and thus in a different way than if she'd stayed there:

"During those first few days in that strange place, I don't think I could have felt any worse than if I'd lost my arms and legs than my family and my home: I had no doubt my life would ever be the same again".

Deliberately, Golden's simile here compares Chiyo's loss of family and home to the thought of losing...