A Surrealist Critique on Murakami - ReadScholars

A Surrealist Critique of Murakami’s Novel “The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle”

Surrealism is an art style from the 1920s that's all about diving into dreams and the hidden parts of our minds. It comes through paintings, sculptures, writing, and films. People often link surrealism to modern art, but it's also like a hint of what's to come in postmodernism.

In surrealism, the main idea was to show the secret things that shape our real world. They wanted to dig into the strange, dreamy parts of our minds that aren't on the surface. This focus on the strange and hidden thoughts connects with what later became postmodernism. Postmodernism is when people start doubting that there's only one true reality and start to like their personal, mixed-up experiences more.

Surrealism also loved mixing things up. They'd put things together that don't normally belong. This is like what postmodernism later did with its jumbled art pieces, jokes, and copying of old styles. Surreal artists put strange things side by side to make pictures that make you feel like you're in a dream. Postmodern artists do something similar by mixing different things to make new meanings.

So, even though surrealism came before postmodernism, it was like a taste of what was to come. Both didn't like the idea that there's only one reality. They liked mixing things up and leaving things unclear. They're like cousins in the art world.

Example of Surrealism

Surrealism's Impact on "The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle"

Surrealism has influenced modern art and writing by showing irrational, dreamy, and surprising things. This influence appears in many works that have dreamlike parts. A famous novel, "The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle," by Haruki Murakami, uses surrealism to talk about hidden thoughts and challenge social rules.
In the novel, dreams and strange images create a surreal feeling. The main character, Toru Okada, has dreams that question what's real. One dream has a mysterious "skinny lady," who says he's more than just a normal person. This dreamlike touch shows the irrational side of the story.
The novel also looks at people who don't fit into society. Characters like May Kasahara, who thinks about death a lot, and Lieutenant Mamiya, a soldier who's seen war horrors, are shown as outsiders. Surrealism often talks about outsiders to criticise society's rules. This is seen when these characters are put in the spotlight.
Lieutenant Mamiya is another character with a surreal story. His tale is about being a prisoner during World War II. He talks about strange things, like a deep hole turning into an underground world. This weird story makes you question reality.
Mamiya's story also critiques society. It shows how war and power structures can destroy. By doing this, it challenges the usual stories of bravery. This is a surreal way of looking at society's values.
Lieutenant Mamiya's story uses surreal ideas like jumbled time and strange images. This makes us think beyond normal reality. It's a way to say we need new ways of seeing things.
In "The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle," surrealism appears through dreamy images, hidden parts of life, and characters who don't fit in. This helps the novel talk about how society limits us. It pushes us to see the world in new ways.

So, "The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle" uses surrealism to talk about hidden thoughts and challenge society's rules. It mixes dreamy images, unusual experiences, and outsider characters to show that there are different ways to see the world. This novel teaches us to look beyond the surface and question the usual.

Summary of "The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle"

By Haruki Murakami "The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle" is a novel. It centers on Toru Okada, who embarks on a search for his wife, Kumiko, who has vanished. In the 1980s, Tokyo is the setting for the story. Toru initially seeks out his cat, but then odd things happen. He encounters a wide range of individuals, each with a unique story. Malta Kano is one among them; she can see things that others cannot.
Toru learns new information while searching for Kumiko. It becomes difficult to distinguish between his thoughts and reality. The book discusses loneliness, knowing oneself, and how difficult relationships can be. Lieutenant Mamiya, a World War II veteran, is featured in another section of the narrative. He adds some background to the story by sharing some of his difficult encounters with Toru.
Strong, unusual details are used in the text to pique your interest and provoke serious thought. Everything in the story is connected by a mystery called the wind-up bird. Toru learns about himself and the world as he continues on his adventure, facing his worries along the way. The narrative style is complex, and certain passages have a dreamlike quality. There is more to "The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle" than just solving puzzles. It also gets you to contemplate how minds function and how everything might be interconnected. It combines bizarre things with real life, leaving you unsure of what is genuine and what is pure fantasy.


"The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle" uses vivid imagery to pique interest and inspire reflection. The wind-up bird concept connects the elements of the story. As Toru faces his concerns, his development takes shape, and the book's non-linear structure and dreamy periods add complexity. The work is more than just a puzzle to be solved; it's also a meditation on how the mind functions and how everything is connected.

Thus, the work encourages readers to reflect carefully on life's puzzles through Toru's search, Malta's observations, or Lieutenant Mamiya's stories. The book challenges us to consider where the lines between reality and imagination should be drawn with its blend of surrealism and realism. "The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle" has much more to offer than first appears as we consider the complex levels of the story.

Post a Comment


Close Menu