Kate asked:

Every time I get to a chapter about the Town I'm hit over the head by the sense that it's a giant metaphor. The Beasts, no one having shadows, Winter. But for the life of me I can't figure out what they are metaphors FOR apart from guessing at the obvious. Maybe the second half of the book will be more enlightening. Any clues/guesses?

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Ianne Just continue reading.
Jeanne Mixon When the mad scientist explains why the hero has not succumbed to the fatal brain event that killed the other science experiment victims he says that there must have been a traumatic event in the hero's past that led to him developing a strong emotional shell and a second personality to protect himself. The world inside his mind is presumably a clue to that trauma. At the end he says he himself wants to find out why the world is the way it is. Even he doesn't know what happened to him.
Leah Rachel von Essen Postmodern literature is not that simple, for the most part. This is a metaphor about a lot of things, twisted, questioning, and searching. It won't interpret into a single, simple explanation for you, and its symbolism will not correspond piece-by-piece like The Great Gatsby would. The items might be metaphors, but it won't read that simply, and I doubt people would agreed on what they are. I think it's a question more for yourself and what you decide they should each stand for. There's a reason it isn't easy to discover.
B. Reese The ending pretty much explains it. I can explain it, but do not want to spoil.
Belinda I think the town represents the subconscious, the unknown, possibly past lives and definitely the inner life.
Kate I finished the book some time ago, but I stand by the question. The book explains what the Town is, but I still feel like the items are metaphors.
(For example: the food in Great Gatsby is a metaphor, but it's also food at a party. The Town is his subconscious, but I think the things that Murakami chose to include in the Town are metaphors. Does that clarify my question?)
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