The questions you are to use for your Read & Response preparation can be found at the bottom of this page.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Invisible Japanese Gentlemen

Please post by march 16


Dora Kadish said...

1) I was confused in the beginning as to who the girl's fiancé was. Was it one of the Japanese gentlemen, or someone completely different? I liked the way the girl's naivety was described and come upon. For example, the way she spoke about trusting the publisher's word completely. I liked the point of view this story was narrated from. When the first "I" was mentioned, it gave me a completely different outlook onto the story.

2) The girl is naive to believe everything the publisher tells her. She is speaking to her fiancé As if she knows everything there is to know about the writing business, while he could probably teach her a few things about writing. She is reveling in her moment of glory, and ignoring all the people around her. Even the narrator who is her mom's age and watching her. In the end, her naivety is emphasized when she asks her fiancé about the Japanese gentleman.

3) My favorite part was when the girl's fiancé was trying to explain how the publisher was not to be trusted, and she completely ignored him because she thought she knew better. My least favorite part is when the girl is talking to her fiancé about money and I imagined him sitting there with a bored look on his face, holding his drink. My favorite line is "Japanese?" she said. "What Japanese, darling? Sometimes you are so evasive I think you don't want to marry me at all."

4) are there actually Japanese gentlemen at the restaurant, or are they a metaphor for something else? How old is the girl, and why is the narrator so interested in her conversation about her new novel? I find it odd how the Japanese gentlemen are only mentioned in the beginning and the very end. The conversation between the engaged couple worries me that this idea of writing books will split them apart.

5) There is irony because the girl is called an incredible observer by her publisher, and yet she did notice some of the obvious things around her. Imagery is used as if to make fun of the girl for being so “shrewd,” that she didn’t notice the people around her.

Sam Healey said...

1. I liked this piece. It was interesting how the narrator shifted back and forth between the group of Japanese men and the woman with her fiancé. I liked the irony of her boasting about her powers of observation, when she doesn't notice the men or her financés hesitation. It wasn't extremely interesting though, I feel like this restaurant scene with a stranger as a narrator is overdone. But I did like that the narrator was also a writer. It gave the reflect opportunity for him to sympathize with her, and internally warn her not to go into that profession.

2. The girl in this piece is obviously driven and ambitious. Despite her boasts, she doesnt have great powers of observation. She barely notices the Japanese men, even though the narrator describes them in detail and is engaged when they talk. She's also ignoring her fiancé's hesitation, and not bothering to ask him why he's so resistant. She's so focued on her novel, and she assumes that it's going to be a best seller. This reinforces how young she is. She's not a very likable character, in my opinion. As readers, we can so clearly see her flaws and the effect she's having on her fiancé. He doesn't make a huge effort to stand up to her, and he seems sad and defeated. I think our sympathies lie more with him than her, especially because I have the feeling she's going to win that argument.

3. My favorite part of this piece was the description of the polite Japanese men, and the girl sitting nearby, distracted by her own problems. My least favorite part was when she tells her fiancé that she wants to settle down in St. Tropez, because she assumes her novel will do well enough to pay for the trip. My favorite line is "I thought azure was blue."

4. What is the significance of the last line? What is Nelson's navy? What are the benefits of having the narrator be a stranger? Why do none of the characters get names?

5. Theres a telegraphic sentence used "She deserved better of life." it delivers the narrator's opinion in more of a shock, and shows that he really believes becoming an author will ruin her. Another is visual imagery when the narrator pictures the girl and her fiancé as miniatures sitting on white wood panels. This line also contains alliteration.

Emily M said...

1)      I really enjoyed this piece. As a game when I’m reading, I try to guess where the story is heading, but for this one I wasn’t sure until I found out where it was headed. The relationship between the couple is interesting because it’s not a typical dual-sided relationship and seems to be based more on the money aspect of their marriage. The Japanese Gentlemen, I assumed, was first of all only one person, but that just shows my problem with plural/singular “men/man” words. I thought the story was going to be about a literally see-through invisible Japanese man. I think I was off by a little bit.
2)      The future-wife, the woman that the narrator observes seems like she is more interested in her writing career than her future marriage to the man sitting before her. She seems to be aiding him more than he is helping her, as she insists on paying the bill and she also has a plan for their future and a way to earn money. The woman might be described as “wearing the pants” in the relationship because she keeps taking charge of the situation. I think I relate to this girl because I want to be a writer in the future and I’m not as concerned with present issues or relationships other than with my friends and family. I want my (future) career to come first.
3)       My least favorite part was finding out the gentleman were gentlemen and there were no literal see-through people. My favorite part was the the conversation between the couple. Even though it was pretty much the majority of the story, I liked it because it showed their relationship to each other and why they were together. My favorite line came at the end when the girl asks what men her husband is talking about. It's possible she could be seen as flighty and unaware of her surroundings, but I think it more shows how engrossed she is and how he only seems interested in the other party there.
4) Will they end of getting married?
Will her book be published?
Who is getting the most out of this marriage?/Least?
What's the deal with the invisible Japanese Gentlemen?
Is there love in this marriage?/What is the purpose of them getting married?
5) One literary device that is used is the dramatic irony of the japanese gentleman. The audience knows they are there (and that they will probably be referenced at another point in the story, but for the majority of the story, the main female character is unaware of them. I think this is done to show her concerns are solely for her book and although she cares about her future husband (at least on some level) she can't be bothered to observe the Japanese gentlemen.