THE STORY OF THE AGED MOTHER A Japanese Folktale by MATSUO BASHO Long, long ago there lived at the

foot of the mountain a poor farmer and his aged, widowed mother. They owned a bit of land which supplied them with food, and their humble were peaceful and happy. Shining was governed by a despotic leader who though a warrior, had a great and cowardly shrinking from anything suggestive of failing health and strength. This caused him to send out a cruel proclamation. The entire province was given strict orders to immediately put to death all aged people. Those were barbarous days, and the custom of abandoning old people to die was not common. The poor farmer loved his aged mother with tender reverence, and the order filled his heart with sorrow. But no one ever thought a second time about obeying the mandate of the governor, so with many deep hopeless sighs, the youth prepared for what at that time was considered the kindest mode of death. Just at sundown, when his day’s work was ended, he took a quantity of unwhitened rice which is principal food for poor, cooked and dried it, and tying it in a square cloth, swung and bundle around his neck along with a gourd filled with cool, sweet water. Then he lifted his helpless old mother to his back and stated on his painful journey up the mountain. The road was long and steep; the narrowed road was crossed and re-crossed by many paths made by the hunters and woodcutters. In some place, they mingled in a confused puzzled, but he gave no heed. One path or another, it mattered not. On he went, climbing blindly upward – ever upward towards the high bare summit of what is known as Obatsuyama, the mountain of the “abandoning of aged”. The eyes of the old mother were not so dim but that they noted the reckless hastening from one path to another, and her loving heart grew anxious. Her son did not know the mountain’s many paths and his return might be one of danger, so she stretched forth her hand and snapping the twigs from brushes as they passed, she quietly dropped a handful every few steps of the way so that they climbed, the narrow path behind them was dotted at frequently intervals with tiny piles of twigs. At last the summit was reached. Weary and heart sick, the youth gently released his burden and silently prepared a place of comfort as his last duty to the loved one. Gathering fallen pine needle, he made a soft cushion and tenderly lifting his old mother therein, he wrapped her padded coat more closely about the stooping shoulders and with tearful eyes and an aching heart said farewell. The trembling mother’s voice was full of unselfish love as she gave her last injunction. “Let not thine eyes be blinded, my son. A” She said. “The mountain road is full of dangers. LOOK carefully and follow the path which holds the piles of twigs. They will guide you to the familiar way farther down”. The son’s surprised eyes looked back over the path, then at the poor old, shriveled hands all scratched and soiled by their work of love. His heart smote him and bowing to the grounds, he cried aloud: “oh, Honorable mother, thy kindness thrusts my heart! I will not leave thee. Together we will follow the path of twigs, and together we will die!” Once more he shouldered his burden (how light it seemed no) and hastened down the path, through the shadows and the moonlight, to the little hut in the valley. Beneath the kitchen floor was a walled closet for food, which was covered and hidden from view. There the son his mother, supplying her with everything needful and continually watching and fearing. Time passed, and he was beginning to feel safe when again the governor sent forth heralds bearing

The antagonist in the story was the ruler who boasted his power and ordered unreasonable things. in great distress. The son was a reflection of a very good child having a very loving mother. The conflicts were divided into separate related parts resulting to an episodic plot. “Ah. I will think” On the second day she told him what to do. THE STORY OF THE AGED MOTHER A Japanese Folklore “Mother knows best. there cometh a wisdom!” That very hour the cruel law was abolished. The governor listened and then meditated in silence. .” A mother’s love is priceless and can never be compared to other things that a child could have. ” he said gravely. “Alas! Alas!” cried the farmer. “Shining needs more than strength of youth. It is a man vs. it tells a story about the care and wisdom of a mother to his son. behold upon the stones with every twist and fiber showing perfectly.an unreasonable order. The story of the Aged Mother is a folklore from Japan. “Make rope twisted straw. The story took place at Shinano. Finally he lifted his head. “the truth must be told!” and with deep bows he related his story.” she said. their situation and the son’s love and tender reverence. man conflict as seen throughout the story where the tension lies between the son and the ruler. Lay a rope of whithead ashes. The mother was already old and widowed while his son was a poor farmer. but he demanded to know where he had obtained his wisdom. “Wait!” she said. seemingly as a boast of his power. and custom drifted into as far a past that only legends remain. lived. that I should have forgotten the well-know saying. “with the crown of snow. The governor was pleased at the wit of the youth and praised greatly. in the foot of a mountain where the mother and her son who is the protagonist. ” He called the people together and did as she said and when the blaze and died. the son whispered the news to his hidden mother. “Then stretch it upon a row of flat stones and burn it there on the windless night. The entire province trembled with dread. It started from the first part of the story when the antagonist ordered to kill the elderly. His demand was that his subject should present him with a rope of ashes. The order must be obeyed yet who in all Shining could make a rope of ashes? One night. “I will think. Through experiences she gained wisdom and out of it she will always guide her loved ones and give them the best of her soft heart.

still they managed to support each other and stay together.The ruler ordered to kill all the aged people in the province. there comes wisdom!” Mainly the theme of the story evolves in two subjects. a closet inside their house. In the latter part of the story when they made a rope of ashes. The wisdom of the mother. The mother warned his son about the dangers in going down and said that he should follow the path were he can see piles of twigs to avoid being lost. my son… The mountain road is full of danger. the ruler through his heralds announced to the people that his subjected people should present him a rope of ashes. But the son did not abandon his mother. wisdom and obedience were manifested. he cried and carried her mother again. “With the crown of snow. That though they are incomplete and they faced hardships in life.These were the lines that were delivered by the aged mother to her son. They reached the summit and there they bid farewell. These only show the perfect love of the mother. He doesn’t want his mother to die in the hands of the bad guys and so though it was very painful for him. The son loved his mother so much and so upon hearing the proclamation he was filled with sorrow and hopeless sighs. “Let not thine eyes be blind. In the first part of the story the strong and unconditional love of a mother was reflected and the son’s concern to her as a mother. the ruler changed his mind and from that time he knew the importance of the elders in the society. leaving the saying. She told her son to make a rope of twisted straw and stretched it upon a row of flat stones and burn it on a windless night. The protagonist managed to made one and so the ruler was impressed. No one could really make a rope of ashes and in great stress the son told his mother about it and the mother was able to come up with an idea. of being able to think and come up with an . It contains a lesson and the language used was not too deep to understand. He hid his mother in beneath the kitchen floor. he had to carry his mother to the mountain called the mountain of the “Abandoning of the Aged” and leave her there. the love of family member to each one specially the mother’s love and the wisdom that she has gain through decades of experiences. Realism was used as a literary trend because characters are real people and the setting is familiar and current. In this part of the story the wisdom of the mother was shown. Because of what the son did. Look carefully and follow the path which holds the piles of twigs. The trail to the mountain was steep and puzzling. They will guide thee to the familiar way farther down”—. After some days.

wisdom comes along—“With the crown of snow. Then leaving a benchmark that they should not be disregarded. It was because of the wisdom of the mother that saved her son and the people. It covers the fact that elders have experienced a lot of things and they gained wisdom as the result of learning simply stating that they can be one of the richest sources of advice and lessons in life.” http://carlspages.idea and the obedience of the son. truly saying that as we grow old and as our hair whitened.com/2012/01/21/the-story-of-the-aged-mother-a-literaryanalysis/ .wordpress. comes wisdom.

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