Lassification analysis of rural life in the late Meiji period
Your paper should make central argument( or present a central thesis), which should be laid out in your first paragraph. The rest of the paper should elaborate this argument and provide evidence from the book to back it up. Limited quotations from the book are encouraged, but please put the page number of each quote in parentheses following it. Before writing your paper, you should make sure you have known the historical background for the Meiji era in which the novel is set. Remember that style and effectiveness of presentation are as just as important as content in writing a paper of this sort. Try to present your arguments in clear, simple sentences and well-organized paragraphs.
Make sure you read Ann Waswwoas introduction in order to understand the historical context for the novel. The Soil was published as a serialized novel in 1910. The author describes life in rural Japan during the Meiji era(1868-1912), a time of rapid social change in Japanese society. Rural Japan was often seen as a source of a?backwardnessa? and a?traditiona? yet it was also viewed by some as a repository of values, where the bulk of the Japanese population still lived. Sorting out the attitude embedded in the book is important for understanding it as a historical document.
The paper is based on Nagatsuka Takashis novel, The Soil.
Its required to choose one of three questions to write on, and following is the question I chose.
As Waswo suggests in her introduction, this novel has, over time,Created a series of images of rural life in the late Meiji era.”(p.xv) That is, readers reacted to the novel in different ways at different times, even though the story and characters as presented in the novel never changed. At times the novel was read as evidence of the Backwardcharacter of rural Japanese villages even as Japan had begun to modernize. In this reading, it was poverty that was responsible for distorting family relationships and preventing real harmony in Japanese life, thus suggesting( at least for many urban readers) the need for improved conditions if social values were to be maintained. Turning this in a different direction, some reader saw evidence in the novel of the negative effects of inequality on social life, suggesting that without greater equality, social progress could be impossible. But yet other readers saw in the novel evidence of a very different sort, stressing the positive aspects of village life and the a? healing powers of communitya? as a positive model for modernizing Japan, one that even modernizing , urban Japanese ought to try to emulate. How is it possible that a novel could be read in such contradictory ways at different times and by different people? Taking this as a staring point, develop and compare two alternative historical reading of the novel, showing how specific elements in the social world presented in The Soil could be interpreted in different ways.