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Literature & Language
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The Tales of Genji: A Japanese story written by Murasaki Shikibus (Reaction Paper Sample)


The reading is from tale of genji:
Write a 3-paragraph close reading of the following passages. Read the passage slowly – the goal is to take in all the words and think about what effect they have on interpretation of the larger work. You might think about whichever of the following questions might apply to the passage:
What is the narrator or the author saying with this passage? What point of view is it told from? Is it descriptive or not? Does it contain dialogue? Poetry? Is it creating a specific atmosphere (and if so, what)? Does it give special insight into a character or the relationship between two (or more) characters? Does it comment on another event in the work? Is it part of a pattern central to the work?
The passages have been examined by other scholars, which suggests that they are particularly important. Write a short response to it. The response should be a formal essay, in which you have a thesis (an eloquent and specific variation on “This passage is important because…”), supported by evidence from the text.
P. 4, line 1, through p. 5, line 5.


Reaction Paper
The Tales of Genji is a Japanese story written by Murasaki Shikibus. It revolves around a young man, Genji who is the son of the emperor, and his concubine Kiritsubo. Genji is handsome and talented and has relationships with many women who bear him children. Genji's father dies and his half-brother is made the emperor since Genji does not have a strong family to back him up at the courts (Murasaki 4). The author portrays Kiritsubo as a weak and lesser human being because she is a concubine and hopes someday the emperor will acknowledge her. From a personal perspective however, this is a wrong portrayal of Kiritsubo.
It is rather surprising that the author makes Kiritsubo seem powerless and without a choice by suggesting that, “…and perhaps this growing burden of resent

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