Faces of Life
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Faces of life refer to the different dimensions in which life presents itself to individuals. People have to familiarize themselves with all features that concern life to succeed at the end. For instance, people have to familiarize themselves with life relating to love, happiness, sadness, and unfairness. This would help people to adapt and find through ways in life. People would only succeed in case they know how to respond to the various faces of life presented. Survival in the society depends on the ability of an individual to identify the tricks that would lead to success in life. Life would not always favor individuals as expected, but they have to respond to it as it presents itself. In order to gain from the different aspects of life, individuals should not allow their emotions and moods to drive them, but they should adjust appropriately. The faces of life need an application of humility, patience, respect, and persistence. Adherence to this would make individuals flexible and adjustable to the various faces in life. Life would be made simpler through adherence.
The characters in both novels experience setbacks in their lives. The characters are subjected to setbacks in their lives. In “Snow Country” Shimamura who is the main character goes through a rocky relationship with upcoming geisha, Komako. His love life is hampered by many setbacks, and he is not able to get the woman he had admired and was deeply attracted to. According to Yasunari, “their relationship is rocky, Komako is too young.” This depicts the setbacks Shimamura went through in his search for love (Kawabata, p 67). In fact, the relationship does not last for long. It ends when Shimamura fails to respond appropriately to a questions asked by Komako. Yasanuri asserts that, “Shimamura was unable to give her any explanation, and that particularly fact lent her irresistible sadness.” Ivan Denisovich’s “One day in Life” illustrates the setbacks faced by Shukov and other prisoners. Shukov is arrested despite the fact that he was innocent. He was smart enough and adjusted to prison life instead of continuing with the resistance. Denisovich points out that, “the prisoners were assigned numbers for easier identification and dehumanization.” (Willetts, p 75) The other prisoners respected Shukov because of his strength and resilience despite the setbacks in life. According to Denisovich, “…those in camps went through a hard time”
Characters establish their life goals in accordance with love and freedom. In both texts, we observe controversies, concerning the representation of human reality. In the novel “Snow Country”, we investigate the dire need for love life. This was because Shimamura badly needed to do away with the idleness in his life. According to Yasanuri, “Shimamaura is a wealthy man who lives life of idleness” He wanted to be free from idleness in order to put a smile on his face (Kawabata, p 2). This could ensure that life smiles back with a better face. In “One Day in the Life” Shukov, who is the main protagonist encounters the different faces of life. He is a courageous man who wants to use the love he has for his country, to fight for his freedom. Denisovich asserts that, “Shukov went to sleep contented because he had many strokes of luck that day.” This depicts his struggle for freedom and the passion he had for his country. All these life struggles are a representative of how individuals struggle their way in order to make it in life. The life goals are pursued with persistence and the urge to achieve. At the end, they both miss their dreams, but they at least had some sense of struggle in life. Denisovich asserts that, “Shukov is innocent, but he is punished by the government for being a spy.”
In both novels, characters have an element of persistence in their lives. They do not give up despite the fact that life is not smooth. In “Snow Country” Komako is persistent and believes that she would get into a relationship with Shimamura. Yasanuri asserts that, “unlike Shimamura, Komako throws herself into the relationship with her whole heart.” She is determined and persistent to ensure that her love life succeeds. She tried to make the love life appealing; unfortunately, Shimamura was not very interested in her. She faced life as it presented itself and took the opportunities it presented. She did not allow the fact that Shimamura was interested in another geisha. In Denisovich’s “One day in Life” Shukov is determined to live a better life in prison. He is so persistent and ensures that everyone respects him. According to Denisovich, “rations at the camp are scant, but for Shukov, they are one of the things to live for.” This is an indication of his persistence to succeed in life even with the tough conditions of living. He manages to get packages of meals for his persistence and perseverance. The author points out that, “Shukov succeeded in acquiring a small share of Tsezar’s packages through his willingness to stand in line for him”. This is his persistent nature in life and the belief that he could still make it under difficult living conditions. It shapes his life, and he is able to familiarize himself with the environment and several individuals who assist him and during difficulties (Willetts, p 79).
The aspect of futility and sadness in life has been captured in both novels. Shimamura has lost most battles in his life. For instance, he tries to get a person who could love him in order to kick off the idleness in his life. Thus, he sets of for a journey to the springs in search of love, but it all ends up sadly. According to Yasanuri, “he had not dreamt that she was a woman who would find it necessary to take offence at such a trivial remark.” This is a depiction of the futility and the sadness of his rocky relationship with Komako. Shimamura does not tackle the faces of life as they present themselves. He yearns for another woman, Yoko despite the fact that he has another geisha in his life. According to Yasanuri, “Shimamura faces numerous instances of wasted effort.” This depicts his fruitless struggles to in attempt to secure a loving woman and eliminate the idleness in his life. In “One day in Life” Shukov also experiences futility and sadness in his life. He struggles to gain favors, but he is imprisoned for ten years by the government. He is an innocent man who is locked up because of being a spy. According to Denisovich, “he is accused of being a spy after being captured by the Germans.” This depicts his unsuccessful mission that leads to his sadness as he is finally imprisoned.
Nature has been utilized in both novels, to emphasize its significance in human life. Nature is vital in shaping the adjustment of humans to different faces of life. In “Snow Country”, nature has been used to illustrate the meeting point of Shimamura with his geisha (Kawabata, p 88). That place helps him shed off his idleness as he looks for the love of his life. Yasanuri points out that the region marked by the hot springs had many inns, which contributed to the vast numbers of prostitutes, in the area. This is a depiction of nature playing an instrumental part in shaping the lives of individuals and adapting to life changes. In “One day in Life”, nature has been used to illustrate how the prisoners suffered while at the department. Denisovich asserts that, “if the thermometer reads -41 degrees then the prisoners are exempt from outdoor labor, anything above that was considered bearable.” It emphasizes the significance of nature in helping humans evade unbearable and undesirable circumstances in life. The dilapidated living conditions, give the prisoners the urge to work harder for their success (Willetts, p 92).
In conclusion, faces of life refer to the different aspects of life. This is how life presents itself in the life of human beings, and they have to respond to it appropriately in order to make a step in life. For instance, in both the novels discussed, characters experience set- backs in their lives. This means that the characters had to adjust to the setbacks in order to succeed in their plans. Nature is a vital in human life. The novels depict how nature has been used to shape human life. The characters in both novels attempt to use nature to adapt to the various perspectives of life. This makes them winners to some measure. Shimamura fights idleness by going to the springs while Shukov fights to live a better life in prison through the adjustment to the harsher living conditions. Futility and sadness in life is another aspect that has been presented in both novels. Life presents opportunities where individuals have to try to make a through way. The characters in the novels do not achieve their dreams and end up in sadness as they lose their battles. All these represent the different faces of life.