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Memoirs of a Geisha Character Analysis

In: English and Literature

Submitted By BleachGirl9
Words 1198
Pages 5
Excerpt: “I can see you have a great deal of water in your personality. Water never waits. It changes shape and flows around things, and finds the secret paths no one else has thought about - the tiny hole through the roof or the bottom of the box. There's no doubt it's the most versatile of the five elements. It can wash away earth; it can put out fire; it can wear a piece of metal down and sweep it away. Even wood, which is its natural complement, can't survive without being nurtured by water. And yet, you haven't drawn on those strengths in living your life, have you?” (Golden, 125)
What Separates Sayuri for the Other Geishas
During the Shōwa period, Geishas were high-class entertainers that sometimes sold their bodies for money. They strived on perfecting their artistic attributes rather then prostituting their bodies for money. In the novel Memoirs of a Geisha, Arthur Golden writes primarily about the life of a nine-year-old girl named Chiyo and her path to becoming a geisha. Golden uses Chiyo’s origins, eye color (destiny) and determination to contrast her with other geishas. However, he does not just narrate her life from another’s perspective. He gives Chiyo herself the role of telling her own story.
As Golden introduces Chiyo’s memoir, he exaggerates the hardships in little Chiyo’s life. Coming from a poor fishing village (called Yoroido), she is sold off to a geisha house, separated from her sister, who she finds and tries to escape with (which failed). Later on in life when Chiyo (Sayuri) becomes a geisha, she confesses that she rarely tells anyone about where she was born. Their responses concerning her origin go as such, ‘“You growing up in a dump like Yoroido. That’s like making tea in a bucket!”’ These reactions further recluse Sayuri from telling other men she entertains about her past. People went as far as to write articles about her stating…...

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