Essay: Naomi by Junichiro Tanizaki
The novel Naomi by Tanizaki revolves around the theme of obsession as displayed by both the protagonist and the antagonist. It is imperative to note that majority of Tanizaki’s works revolve around the theme of obsession or something that is not admired by all the readers of the book. In his books, the obsession does not end to something good neither are the characters obsessed with a good thing. This is the case in this novel, Naomi.
In the novel, the protagonist, Joji, is revealed as having blindly fallen in love to a lady who is materialistic and ends up manipulating him like a marionette. Joji, the main character happens to come from a wealthy family and is well educated. He comes across Naomi, who is 15 years old and serving as a waitress. The girl is poor but her name separates her from others. Joji falls in love with her and decides to westernize her. The irony in this scenario is that Joji’s names sound similar to those of the Englishmen but he, George, has some pronunciation problems unlike Naomi, who has an English accent. Joji’s main agenda is to make a perfect woman out of Naomi.
Joji decides to westernize Naomi and offers her western paraphernalia that includes odd kimonos. As she gets westernized, she begins to take control of Joji and her world becomes a directive that must be followed by Joji. They share sexual intimacy but just like Dr. Frankenstein who was destroyed by his creation, Naomi takes full control of Joji. Naomi becomes outstanding and does not reflect any good attitude towards Joji but continues to oppress Joji with full consent. She loses her morals and uses her manipulative character to control Joji. Joji has invested so much in her that he does not leave her even when he clearly knows her evils.