Essay, Research Paper: Memoirs Of Geisha

Literature: World War

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Plot: This exotic fable is about a young, innocent girl named Chiyo (9 years old
in 1929) who lives in a poor fishing village in Yoroido with her older sister
Satsu, her father and sick mother. Since Chiyo’s mother is going to die soon
and her father can’t do much to support their family, he sells his two
daughters into slavery to a renowned geisha house. Chiyo has unusual blue-gray
eyes, which later helps her capture peoples’ attention, especially men’s.
Unfortunately, her sister is taken to a different district and from this time
on, little Chiyo lives her life in agony because she has no family left and
she’s a maid serving a notorious geisha named Hatsumomo. Hatsumomo can also be
referred to as a witch because she does anything like spreading false rumors to
make Chiyo’s life miserable. One day while running an errand for the house
that she lives in, Chiyo falls down on a stone near a river and starts to cry
for she can no longer endure the pain and hardships she is going through at such
a young age. Luckily, the Chairman of a wealthy electric company comes across
her while he’s walking with his business associates. He takes notice of her
and goes up to see what is the matter with her. As he lifts her chin up and
looks into her eyes, he is marveled by the beauty her eyes posses. All he can do
is stare. He gives her a handkerchief and a few compliments and tells her not to
worry because everything will be fine. The Chairman then leaves but he never
leaves Chiyo’s thoughts or dreams. He is the only person who has been kind to
her all her life and for the past years, all she dreams about is meeting this
wonderful man again and getting to know him. To make a long story short, the
Chairman never forgets Chiyo and how beautiful she is, so he goes to a
well-known geisha by the name of Mameha and asks her to adopt Chiyo as her
younger sister so she can train her to become a geisha too. The Mother of the
house where Chiyo lives is a wicked woman and when Mameha comes to arrange Chiyo
to become her younger sister, Mother agrees but knows that Chiyo won’t ever
succeed. Hatsumomo tells people lies about Sayuri (her named changed from Chiyo
to Sayuri after she became an apprentice geisha) so she can ruin her career
because she is jealous. Mameha, on the other hand, is Hatsumomo’s enemy so she
introduces Sayuri to popular men so she can wins their hearts and attention.
This is the next time Sayuri meets the Chairman but now she’s all grown up;
she doesn’t know if he remembers her. The Chairman’s partner, Nobu likes
Sayuri and he wants to become her danna – having Sayuri as his mistress. Years
after years of struggling to be with Sayuri, he never succeeds. During this
whole time Sayuri is in love with the Chairman but he never seems to pay
attention to her. Finally, the Chairman and Sayuri tell each other how they feel
towards one another and he becomes her danna (sort of like a husband, but not
exactly). They travel to the United States on business trips and after a few
years, Sayuri moves to New York City from Gion, Japan to make her living as a
teahouse owner and an artist–geisha. 2) Ending: Sayuri is able to find her way
out from becoming the mistress of a few men who are interested in her. All her
life of living in misery comes to an end the day the Chairman comes to talk to
her and tells her how much he likes her and has liked her ever since he laid
eyes on her by the river when she was just a little girl. Sayuri tells him that
he is what she’s wanted all her life and they finally are able to be together.
They travel together and she settles in New York City and opens a teahouse where
men go there and engage in a conversation with geishas. The Chairman dies after
Sayuri moves to New York City but he lives on inside her heart. 3) a. Main
character: Of course, the main character in this book is Sayuri who is a mostly
believable heroine. Her ambitions were not always rational but this creates a
more imperfect and human character. Through her eyes, we see the decadent heart
of Gion--the geisha district of Kyoto--with its marvelous teahouses and
theaters, narrow back alleys, ornate temples, and artists' streets. Her
transformation is seen as she learns the rigorous arts of the geisha: dance and
music; wearing kimono, elaborate makeup and hair; pouring sake to reveal just a
touch of inner wrist; competing with a jealous rival for men's solicitude and
the money that goes with it. Soon, World War II begins and the geisha houses are
forced to close. Sayuri, with the help of her admirer, Nobu, is taken into a
haven where she spends the remainder of the war sewing balloons (hot-air balloon
and parachutes). Growing up without any parents, she leads an awful life but
with the help of the Chairman and Mameha, she is able to work herself up and
become a dignified woman who captures the hearts of many. b. Problem-conflict:
The main conflict is that some geishas in Japan would do anything to ruin the
reputation of others because the fewer geisha there are and the more popular
they are, the more money they will make. So Hatsumomo, an envious geisha sets
out to ruin Sayuri’s life who has nothing nor anyone in this world. In this
novel, Sayuri proves to be the toughest one out of Hatsumomo and many other
geisha because she works herself up respectively and wins the admiration’s of
so many people that she is soon adopted as the daughter of the house she used to
serve and live in. After all, the one who deserved all the kindness and respect
received it although it took many years and a great deal of sufferings. c.
Antagonist I’d be a liar if I didn’t tell you that Hatsumomo was the
antagonist in this story although some other people tried to do bad things too.
But she was the corrupt one who caused Sayuri so much grief and made her live
under her control. One time, she told the Mother of the house that Sayuri has
stolen her bracelet and the Mother believed her. She beat Sayuri and asked her
to pay for an expensive piece of jewelry she had not even touched. Hatsumomo
also tried to end Sayuri’s geisha days but I’m happy to say that she went
down herself, d. Climax: The climax of the story was when Sayuri had arranged to
sleep with the Minister and have Nobu find her with him. Something happened that
changed everything. Instead of Nobu discovering them together, the Chairman
walked in and you can imagine how Sayuri felt. The reason why Sayuri had planned
this scheme for Nobu to find them was because Nobu wanted to become Sayuri’s
danna and Sayuri didn’t like him although he had been kind enough to her to
save her from working in the factories because he cared about her. Obviously she
didn’t like him so she had planned that if Nobu walked in on them together, he
would change his mind about her. But after the Chairman saw her with the
Minister, he went and told Nobu. As for Sayuri...she thought the Chairman would
hate her and she would never have a chance with him. She was wrong, for in fact,
this incident made the Chairman realize how important she really was to him and
how much he liked her. Therefore, three days later he sought to see her and
that’s when he told her how he felt about her and she was stunned. This event
turned things around and they ended up being together after 18 years of waiting
to make a move. e. Resolution: After Nobu heard how unfaithful she had been
towards him, he completely erased Sayuri from his life. Never did he mention her
name again. He had told her before that if she were to betray him, he would
never forgive her. So as I mentioned before, the Chairman and Sayuri became
lovers and she became his mistress since he was married. And for the remainder
of their lives, they lived pleasantly. f. Theme (deeper meaning) What I take to
be the theme of this memoir is that a person can accomplish anything in life if
they have set their mind on it and if they believe they can get there. Never
giving up hope and always looking for a brighter day will eventually lead you to
what you’re out there searching for. In Sayuri’s case, she was a slave who
won the heart of a man and worked herself up to become one of the most
successful geishas in all of Japan and to be united with the man she loved who
motivated her all her life. I learned to be courageous from Sayuri and never
give up dreaming because I believe that if you want something badly, you can
transform your dreams into realties. g. Foreshadowing This could have been seen
when wherever Sayuri went in the evenings, Hatsumomo followed her and it became
obvious that she was plotting to go to those teahouses and spread rumors about
her to the people she had recently entertained. Another foreshadowing can be
seen when the Mother of the house adopts Sayuri because we know that Hatsumomo
had been living in that house much longer than Sayuri had and she had hopes of
being the one adopted. So it was apparent as to what would happen to her and
that is, she became enraged and fought with the Mother, therefore, she was
kicked out of the house onto the streets. The final foreshadowing I was able to
see was when Sayuri was sleeping with the Minister because there were footsteps
near the building and the Minister assumed it was only birds chirping but I
figured it would either be Nobu or the Chairman and indeed, it was the Chairman.
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