Essay: Main Characters in the Novel Naomi
The two main characters clearly display a high degree of symbolism in the novel. Joji displays a typical Japanese man, willing to maintain his Japanese traditions but at the same time willing to be civilized. On the other hand, the antagonist, Naomi, is a Japanese woman willing to leave all her Japanese culture at the expense of the western culture. She continuously proceeds to buy western magazines even though she cannot read them.
The book reveals the problems brought by the western culture to the Japanese culture, just like the rest of the world. Joji loves Naomi so much that he cannot leave her despite her betrayal. In the traditional setting, the woman was considered to be dominated by man and in the case of some marital problems; there were elders’ court that could handle the matter. Nevertheless, in our case, Joji is clearly dominated by Naomi who uses her sexual drive to manipulate other men and Joji cannot do anything since this is a new era where he perceives competition for any kind of resources to be a norm.
One cannot fail to note the fact that Joji brings into limelight another definition of love. Despite Naomi’s betrayal, he shows that love is patience, denial, sacrifice, kind and has no pride. On the other hand, Naomi’s character reveals the greediness and the immorality of the western culture that makes the readers sympathize with helpless Joji.
In reference to Joji and Naomi, one can conclude that the novel is about the east versus the west or tradition versus the modernity. One clearly observes that the modern Japanese girl is liberated beyond the control of the local westernized man. A fact that is clearly displayed by Naomi’s dominance over Joji. Further, though Joji likes dancing, he cannot outdo Naomi in the dance floor.