Literary analysis of Norwegian Wood Chapter 11
The sudden death of Naoko was like a blow to Toru. The news came to him all of a sudden when he was expecting her to improve. Maybe Reiko was hiding all of the real situation so that Toru could move forward with his own life. Toru was shocked and upset over this incident. His coping mechanism with this issue was social boycott. He stopped meeting everyone and hid him in his own cocoon.
A number of years passed when Toru spent his time sulking over Kizuki’s demise that he absolutely ignored his own life. He does not feel affected by the idea of death neither he felt any inclination towards joining Naoko over there. It was his feelings for Midori that kept some sanness in him. Although, she was mad towards him, but still, he did not had hard feelings for her.
Toru lived through the misery of Naoko’s loss to the fullest. He found what is actual life when he was traveling far away and saw someone living generously. He realised that it is the time he must refrain from living in this self created hell. It is the time that he must face the real world out there.
Toru is back to his real life, but there is an invisible aura that Kizuki and Naoko are still around him. He has started cladding the reality, but he knows that all of these losses are affecting his daily life in this way or other.
When Toru gets to know that Reiko is moving away from woods, he was both amused and shocked. He was glad that his dear friend does not need to be there anymore. Reiko has moved beyond from her grief.
Reiko also expressed that it was Naoko’s death, which pushed her to leave that place. She was not sure whether she would ever forget her or the bond that she and Naoko has shared. She also believes that to tackle the pain, one must do it with positivity and with energy.
They both talked about the Japanese myth of Asahikawa, which is about a gate between spiritual and authentic world. When they discussed that gate, their growing relation gets deeper. For Reiko, she wants to be at a place that surrounds with death and life after that. The relief of this place is only possible through death. Toru had been to this place too means that he has his metaphysical roots as well.
Toru’s mind drifted away from and close to Naoko right now. The memories come back to him and he feels away from her. His life is moving forward and memories of Naoko are leaving behind.
The physical and spiritual connection between Naoko and Reiko can be seen with the thing that Reiko is wearing her clothes. She left all of her clothes to Reiko and wanted her to wear. It shows that she wants to stay on Reiko’s body in the form of her clothes.
Reiko shared the last days memory of Naoko with Toru, which are vivid and all contentment. it could be due to her plan of taking her life.
The sadness of Naoko after going through deaths of her loved ones were the reason that she attempted suicide. She was afraid to perform sexually or involve emotionally with anyone. She is afraid acting correct sexually or emotionally. She thought that physical intimacy is some sort of social burden that she has to fulfil. She was scared that she will have to go through this process and this made her taking her own life.
Naoko ended her life by hanging from tree in the forest, which was sign of isolation and demise.
The connection of Reiko and Toru strengthens so much that they got closer to each other in physical way. Reiko seems like tired of running away from her past and looks to get relaxed. Same with Toru who has an exhausting time running away from everyone and do not have anyone around him.
After spending years on weeping over the loss of Kizuki, it was his return to mourn Naoko now. However, Reiko did not approve of it at all. She asked him to do against it and look for real happiness.
Musical Funeral for Naoko
As we move to the end of this novel, the literary analysis of Norwegian Wood Chapter 11 also gets interesting.
Reiko and Toru decided to have a funeral ceremony in the honor of Naoko. It is to show her that both of them loved her a lot and do not want to forget her ever. Reiko played Norwegian Wood on her guitar in various moods. Sometimes, it was in a festive tone and sometimes in nostalgic. Apart from this song, they sang and played several other songs in the memory of Naoko as well.
The lovemaking sessions between Toru and Reiko felt like the natural event to Toru. She asked him to make her feel that she will never want to desire for it again in life, but Toru told him that will not be possible. This all conversation give vibes whether Naoko is living inside the head of Reiko or her soul is inside her. Her request seems like she is still sure that she will get hurt at some point of life.
Toru goes to drop Reiko to the train for the place which is so far a myth in Japanese culture. Asahikawa gives the impression of spirituality and metaphysical nature. It is unknown that what is the purpose of Reiko going there. Is she really going for employment or plans on bid farewell to this world just like Naoko.
The final scene of the novel shows that Toru has taken a decision on how to spend his life. His determination of calling Midori shows that the will of steering life in the right direction is all that he wants. He wants to be with someone and does not aim to spend life alone, this is why, calling Midori was the instant conclusion that he made.
This final literary analysis of Norwegian Wood Chapter 11 marks the end of this globally acclaimed novel.
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