Standing Woman by Tsuitsui Yatusaka is a simple and elaborate story that details the various tribulations undergone by those individuals that defy the stipulated rules and regulations. The city tends to turn those who are depicted as being rowdy into different arborous sculptures. For instance, a mail clerk and postman complaining of their trifling wages have their feet planted onto the ground. The same goes for the disillusioned students and wives who tend to line up the various streets. The dogs and cats are also planted on the ground because they are viewed as causing additional strain to the citys resources hence are sometimes forgotten and eventually end up being dilapidated bone pillars. Therefore, human beings in this society and considered insignificant when compared to the needs of the city.
Individuals are considered inferior when compared to the city. Their needs and wants seem not to matter, and those who seem to rebel are suppressed by being planted onto the ground. The city seems to occupy a significant role, and human beings have the vital role of maintaining the citys greenery. This is because; the entire population is encouraged to plant cats, dogs or human beings onto the ground. This is with the sole purpose of eventually growing into trees offering the city its greenery. The society has curtailed human freedom a great deal. For instance, criticizing the social norms of the society is seen as a grievous offense that can warrant one an arrest. The old man in the story claims Its painful, suddenly giving up writing. Now that its come to this, I would have been better off if Id gone on boldly writing social criticism and had been arrested. (Yasutaka, n.p). This shows that the city is ignorant to the plight of its citizens and hence any form of resistance is viewed as being rebellious. Therefore, individuals only have the role of maintaining the city in a good condition.
This role of an individual should change. This is because; human beings are all equal, and are normally born with the highest value and worth. As a result, one should advocate for justice for all individuals and fight for their rights. Therefore, an individual should retain his independent and unique individuality, and also make his contribution to the wellbeing of the whole society. Therefore, individuals with a passion of writing should be given a chance to outline their grievances about the social evils taking place in the city. Arresting them for being open and honest is restraining their freedom of expression. This is demonstrated by the narrator when he says This is a world where even two or three writers getting together is considered illegal assembly (Yasutaka, n.p). This law can change but only when the city administrators become open minded and accept the diverse views of the citizens.
There are various literary features that have been used. Firstly, there is personification. This means giving different inanimate objects human traits. For instance, the narrator claims dog pillars usually have excellent appetites (Yasutaka, n.p). Dog pillars are non-human beings described as having an admirable appetite.
The main impact of Tsutsuis essay is that the readers are able to see all the injustices committed by the city administrators through the eyes of a writer. The readers are left perplexed by the level of wickedness exhibited by law makers against humans and animals in a bid to protect the environment along with its scarce resources.
In conclusion, it is evident that an individual in this society is of little significance when compared to the needs of the city. This means that airing out ones grievances and highlighting the social vices in the society is illegal. As a result, one is arrested and planted on the ground as a form of punishment. However, this can change by being open minded and accepting the diverse views of its citizens.
Yasutaka Tsuitsui. Standing Woman. (2014).
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