Usage of Funerary Symbols in Masuji Ibuse’s Black Rain and Kenzaburo Oe’s the Silent Cry

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Nderitu, James Maina
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Kenyatta University
This research work is based on the study of the primary texts; Masuji Ibuse’s Black Rain (1970) and Kenzaburo Oe’s The Silent Cry (1967). It seeks to examine how the funerary symbols appear, are employed and their significance in the two selected novels. The research also looks at the influence that funerary symbols have on plot, characterization and themes in the texts. A writer uses one form of communication over another in his or her work for a reason. An interrogation of available scholarship on Japanese writers indicates that the area covered by this research has not been exhausted. It is hoped that this study and its findings contribute in addressing this research paucity and invokes further research. The research design used in this study is descriptive. Since this is a library based research, the primary texts were read alongside other critical works deemed relevant for the findings of the research. The results from the primary data were then analyzed to arrive at the final findings. This study was conducted within the guidelines of two theoretical frameworks: Semiotics Literary theory and Psychoanalytic literary theory. Semiotics literary approach is instrumental when it comes to analyzing the communication modes embraced by the two authors. Psychoanalysis is useful in analyzing the funerary symbols employed by the selected authors.
A Research Project Report Submitted to the School of Humanities and Social Sciences in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Award of the Degree of Master of Arts in Literature of Kenyatta University, 2017. April 2017