You are on page 1of 4

BOOK REPORT OUTLINE

1. SYNOPSIS

> The narrator (28 year old male) he was attacked by a group of children which
makes him remember his experience when he was 18 years old
> When he was a college student he needed money to buy books
> He was hired by a rich businessman to keep his son company and to protect his
son from humiliating himself in public
> The son of the businessman is a composer named D, although he was a fairly
well-known composer, he started to act insane after the death of his baby
> The narrator would take walks with D around Tokyo and because of this he sees
that D is having conversations with an invisible figure / a ghost
> The narrator learns that the invisible figure that talks to D is a giant baby,
six feet tall, who appears in the sky to talk to him
> The giant baby's name is Ahgwee. He wears a white cotton night gown and is
afraid of dogs
> The narrator also learns that the baby of D had a mental disability. He felt
shame over the baby and so he starved the baby to death by feeding him
only sugar water. The baby eventually died of a tumor / brain hernia. (masama
din ang loob ng nanay ng baby kay D)
> On Christmas Eve, while taking their usual walk, D and the narrator wait to
cross the road but D suddenly reaches out towards the street and gets hit by a car
> In the hospital, while he is dying the narrator asks if D made up Aghwee in
his mind as a cover for his suicide or was Agwhee real?
> D doesnt answer the question but only smiles
> The story ends with the narrator after being attacked by the kids, thinks of
the people in his life who are now in the sky

2. CHARACTERS (DESCRIPTION AND ANALYSIS)


> WHO ARE THE CHARACTERS?
The narrator - he was 18 years old, as a college student, when he meets D. He
is 28 years old in the present and is almost blind in one eye
D - the well known composer who has gone insane talking to an invisible
monster in the sky that only he can see; he committs suicide at the end of the
story
Aghwee - the giant sky monster; a baby who is as big as a kangaroo, six
feet tall, wears a white cotton night gown and is afraid of dogs. He comes down
from
the sky to talk to D
Businessman - the father of D who hires the narrator to "be a friend" to D

3. HISTORICAL CONTEXT / SETTING (DESCRIPTION AND ANALYSIS)


> WHAT IS JAPAN'S POINT OF VIEW REGARDING MENTAL DISABILITY?
> WHY IS IT THAT D COULDN'T LOVE HIS CHILD BUT E COULD?
> WHY DID D COME TO A POINT OF DECIDING TO KILL THE CHILD? IS IT A CULTURE THING
OR JUST HIM?

4. THEME ANALYSIS (MENTAL DISABILITY?)


> WHAT IS THE CURRENT WORLD VIEW ON MENTAL DISABILITY AND SIGNIFICANCE OF THE
NOVEL TODAY

- it is super important in Japanese culture that every individual molds or


fits into society
- this is because of their standards for each japanese person to able to
function as students and workers of the community
- Japanese with mental disabilities are seen as people who don't know how to
function or who cannot help society
- some fellow Japanese would even say that Japanese with mental disabilities
should be euthenized (killed; turok)
- they are sometimes seen as a shame not only to themselves but to their own
families as well
- because of this, japanese people with mental disabilities are usually kept
inside their houses and cared for by their families
- Japanese people are not entirely cruel to mentally disabled people. They are
actually very accomodating (meaning, sa public transportation kunwari,
maraming ways na pinapadali nila ang pag commute for the disabled) to people
with mental disabilities.
- The negative thinking of Japanese people towards the mentally disabled is
old but still unlike other countries they are not very vocal about the issue
- Although that negative thinking is old, sadly, it still lives in the mind of
many citizens there.

- because of social media, we have a platform to spread awareness about issues


like mental disability and suicide
- we have come so far as a society and know so much information already
- mental disability cannot be limited into one definition or stereotype
- now we know that mental disability ranges in different levels and have
different kinds of effects on people
- because of the information being spread towards social media we learn of
many different kinds of disabilities but also see the people
behind the disabilities. They are not defined by what they cannot do. They
are still people THUS, they deserve love and compassion

> WHAT IMAGERY OR SYMBOLISMS DOES THE AUTHOR USE?

- the symbolism of Aghwee is the baby D killed and eventually lost


- Aghwee is the sky monster's name because Aghwee is the only thing his real
baby could say before it died
- the symbolism of Aghwee coming down from the sky is that D feels guilt that
he cannot deal with and still wants to connect with the baby he lost
- so the baby / Aghwee comes down from the sky and they talk
- the suicide or "reaching out" of D meant that ultimately he wanted to be
with his baby in the sky
- the symbolism of Aghwee coming down from the SKY also means that there are
things we lose but still fantasize about or dream about
- This is why D tells the narrator that the things you "lost" are in the sky
- there are things you lose but do not let go of, you take them with you in
your mind or heart, and are still alive in your memories

5. AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY
> DETAILS ABOOUT HIS LIFE

- The writer is Kenzaburo Oe


- He writes mostly about political and philosophical issues
- He has a brain damaged son which is why he writes many stories about mental
disability
- He also writes books about his own life, how we accepted his son, how their
family copes with a brain damaged son, etc
- He has many honors and awards for his writings

6. ANSWERING THE HAND OUT QUESTIONS


> GIVE THE MEANING OF THE WORDS LISTED IN THE HAND OUT (DESCRIBE ITS RELATION TO
THE STORY)
> DESCRIBE THE JAPANESE LAW REGARDING RAISING MENTALLY DISABLED CHILDREN

- Japan's current situation separates the normal students from the students
with mental disabilities
- Special schools for the blind are separate from the normal schools who are
also separate with the school for deaf, who are separate from
the school for the mentally retarded
- It is only recently, because of globalization and the increase in awareness
is the Japanese government making ways to give support so that
children with mental disorders like ADHD or high functioning autism can join
regular classes

> WHAT MADE THE COMPOSER REFUSE TO INTERACT WITH THE PEOPLE AROUND HIM?

- he is simply not interested in them but wrapped up in his own mind and
thoughts
- and maybe because he is ashamed because he is aware of his own actions
(acting crazy in public)
- he also possibly knows Japan's views about people who are "crazy" or
mentally retarded so instead of interacting, he keeps to himself

> HOW CAN YOU RELATE TO D WHO KILLED HIMSELF ON CHRISTMAS EVE WHILE TRYING TO
SAVE SOMETHING?

- D is haunted by his guilt and wants to reverse his actions if he could


- I don't think anyone should be able to relate to D because that would mean
that that person is stuck in the past, stuck in their own guilt
they cannot move forward or forgive themselves to the point of insanity and
suicide
- If there is someone who can relate to D, then that person might need help or
counselling
- It is human nature to feel regret and guilt and shame and loss but as humans
we should RISE ABOVE and MOVE FORWARD