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The Story of the Aged Mother (Critical Essay)

The Story of the Aged Mother (Critical Essay)

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Published by Aimee Luisa Ü

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Published by: Aimee Luisa Ü on Aug 23, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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The Story of the Aged Mother
By: Matsuo Basho
Aimee Luisa S. MangorobanII - Lead
Plot Summary
“The Story of the Aged Mother” by Matsuo Basho is a story in which a son andhis mother’s pain in their battle against the decree of putting aged people to death. The
story started at the foot of the mountain where a poor farmer lived with his agedmother. Their place was governed by an absolute leader who sent the decree of killingaged people in that place. That time, killing aged people was not common. When thepoor farmer heard the decree he felt sorrow in his heart, since then he prepared anescape. Just as his work ended, he cooked food, wrapped it in a small piece of cloth andtied it in his neck together with cool and sweet water. Then, he carried his mother on hisback and started walking towards the summit of Obatsayuma, the mountain of the
“abandoning of aged”. On their way to the summit, the helpless mother noticed the
dangerous path and thought that her son doesn't know the paths and might passthrough danger so she reached for twigs, snapped them to pieces and quietly droppedthem until they reached the summit. The poor farmer released his mother and created acomfortable cushion and said his farewell. Before he left her, she told him about thepath she made, and then the farmer realized that they need to face the decree togetherso he carried his mother again on his back and stated walking back. When they arrivedback, he told the emperor his story and the emperor listened to his story and abolishedthe decree.
The characters in the story are the emperor who is a despotic leader. He is around character and may be the antagonist in the story. He declared the decree of killing the aged people because he was a warrior he thought aged people were useless
and can’t be helpful to those who are still strong as him but in
the end, he realized thatthose aged people are useful in their own ways and he also learned their importance tothe kingdom. Another character in the story is the farmer who is the protagonist. Hewas the ever loving son of the aged mother in the story, he did not think of himself butinstead, he thought of his mother who was in great danger of being killed innocently. Heloved his mother very much that he did not think that it will be a great danger if he willgo back down. And the aged mother who is the flat character in the story. She is one of the main characters in the story. She was the one who made the emperor changed hismind and helped her own son in returning without danger. She is the role model in thestory who has the wisdom that brings to save her own self and others life from thedecree that was made.
The conflict of the story was Man vs. Man because the only antagonist in thestory was the emperor of Shinano who proclaimed a law to immediately kill all the agedpeople. The emperor was the one who wants the aged people to be killed because hethinks that
aged people are already helpless and can’t contribute to their place.
Point Of View
The Point of View of the story was in the “Third person Point of View” because
the author is the one who narrates the story, and she is not included in the characters of the story. It is written in the third person point of view because the author wrote freely.
The story took place at the foot of a mountain somewhere in Shinano.
The story is about a mother’s love, it’s something that no one can explain
because it is made with deep devotion, sacrifice, understanding and pain, the way thatthe aged mother made a way so that she can have assurance that her son can go homesafely. She knew from the very start that she will be abandoned in the summit of themountain but she understood that it was for her own good.
Literary Techniques
The Literary Technique used in the story of the aged mother is realism becausethe situation in the story was once happened in the history of Japan, not by putting todeath the aged people but abandoning them. It views the once history of a certaincountry and the simplicity of life. The story also contains lesson and the language usedwas simple and comprehensive.

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