In mind, as if the narrator was

April 6, 2019 General Studies

In the story, The Grasshopper and the Bell Cricket, the theme is developed using characters, symbolism, and the narrator’s own point of view. There were many themes presented in this story, however, I believe that the major theme in this story is although one may believe something is ordinary, they might come to find that it is actually extraordinary. The story’s biggest symbolism was that of the grasshopper and the bell cricket. These insects were used to represent something that is easy to find and abundant, the grasshopper, and something that is rare and special, the bell cricket. After witnessing the moment Fujio and Kiyoko were sharing together, the narrator seems to digress in his mind, as if the narrator was giving Fujio some advice, “even if you have the wit to look by yourself in a bush away from the other children, there are not many bell crickets in the world. Probably you will find a girl like a grasshopper whom you think is a bell cricket. And finally, to your clouded, wounded heart, even a true bell cricket will seem like a grasshopper.” (Kawabata 412). The narrator, silently in his mind, tells Fujio that when he is older there may be times when he would believe he has found a bell cricket, a girl who he believes is perfect for him and is one in a million. But, then find out that he has truly found a grasshopper, someone who is common and not perfect for him. The same situation can also happen vice versa; he might find someone who he believes is ordinary but is in actually someone who is perfect for him. I believe the narrator is “telling” Fujio this because of the moment Fujio shared with Kiyoko and the fact that none of them knew about it.
The moment that Fujio and Kiyoko shared symbolized the connection they both have for one another. When Fujio gave Kiyoko the bell cricket, their lanterns had glowed and reflected their names on to each other’s body, “The boy’s lantern, which he held up alongside the girl’s insect cage, inscribed his name, cut out in the green papered aperture, onto her white cotton kimono. The girl’s lantern, which dangled loosely from her wrist, did not project its pattern so clearly, but still one could make out, in a trembling patch of red on the boy’s waist, the name ‘Kiyoko'” (Kawabata 412). During this time, neither the boy nor the girl noticed their names on each other’s body and the narrator seems saddened by that, “I will think it a pity that you have no way to remember tonight’s play of light, when your name was written in green by your beautiful lantern on a girl’s breast” (Kawabata 412). The narrator believes that they have missed a true revelation in their lives, a moment that they can never go through again and might have changed their lives if they knew. Using the narrator’s point of view, the characters, and symbolism, the author was able to beautifully convey the theme.


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