Today’s discussion of Kanai really sent my mind back to Jack in A Japanese Nightingale because there’s this simultaneous question of whether or not we’re meant to like the guy, and if so, in what ways could we possibly give him the benefit of the doubt. Rereading posts like this and this have really given me a lot to think about, especially in assessing Kanai’s relationships with the people and world around him. With Jack, you had to sort of guess and his level of social consciousness, whereas with Kanai, he seems pretty cognizant of the fact he alone “praises and appraises” things (3). He’s an “outsider” from a “world […] as distant from the India of [Piya’s] father’s memories as it was from Lusibari and the tide country,” which isn’t directly comparable to Jack’s rich foreigner position (4, 166). I assume that, similar to how Taro served to remind Jack of his privilege and hold him accountable, some person or event will serve that purpose with Kanai. Then he’ll either stay the same, as Jack did, or he’ll grow to be different. (Though let’s be real, we’ll still be skeptical. Dude’s icky.) I don’t know if this made any sense, but this comparison is definitely going to keep on in my mind, so expect more Posts about it.

men, am I right

One thought on “men, am I right

  • November 19, 2019 at 9:39 pm

    I really like this comparison between the two characters. I agree that Kanaii does seem to be more aware that he does have a high level of social consciousness. I think the interesting question though is what served as Kanaii’s turning point, because we know now that he had one. Was it the tiger? Or maybe in some weird way Fokir? I am not sure I know how to answer that but your prediction at the similarities between them was spot on.

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