Gertrude & Victoria's Reviews > The Wild Geese

The Wild Geese by Ōgai Mori
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Jan 26, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: japanese-library

Mori Ogai, one of the first great modern writers in Japan, displays his command of the narrative with his ever popular The Wild Geese. This story is an enduringly sad story of unrealized love. The theme is one that is all too common and easily understood, which makes it so appealing to the contemporary, non-Japanese reader.

The heroine, Otama, is forced by her wretched conditions to become the mistress - a play thing for some scoundrel of a man - a shallow and cold-hearted moneymongering usurer. She is like a bird trapped in a cage - in this case, a goose - that longs for flight. From her house she gazes out into the streets, and one day, happens to see an attractive young student. She begins to develop feelings for him: he becomes a fascination, the very thing, or person, the ideation of her desperate yearning for a lover, a rescuer, to come and take her away from her ill-fated situation.

He in turn falls for her, yet neither really comprehends the feelings of the other, so nothing significant happens between them. Their love falls short of becoming something much bigger than either of them realize. It all ends before the desires of love have a chance to take root and bloom.
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