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An Age of MelodramaFamily, Gender, and Social Hierarchy in the Turn-of-the-Century Japanese Novel$
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Ken K. Ito

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780804757775

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804757775.001.0001

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In Place of a Conclusion

In Place of a Conclusion

Kokoro and the Age of Melodrama

(p.237) In Place of a Conclusion
An Age of Melodrama
Stanford University Press

This chapter argues that Natsume Sōseki's novel Kokoro can be considered as an ending of the melodramatic imagination. It explains that this work invoked melodrama in order to examine it as a historically indispensable mode for understanding human experience and describes the portrayal of fictive families and the ie-seido ideology. This chapter also argues that Kokoro muted the consideration of social and gender differences that had animated Meiji melodramatic fiction and that its posture of telling a story of national significance went hand in hand with the portrayal of a less contested social space.

Keywords:   Kokoro, Natsume Sōseki, melodramatic imagination, fictive families, ie-seido, social differences, gender differences, national significance

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