Monday, March 17, 2008

Book 44: Knife (刀)

Title: 刀 (Knife)

Who wrote it: 重松清 (Shigematsu Kiyoshi)

Whom I borrowed it from: Queens Library (Forest Hills)

What is it about:
- 5 Short stories evolving around the topic
of BULLYING -- portraying the thoughts,
beliefs, emotions of the victims & their families,
as well as the interactions among the
bullies, bystanders & victims.

What went through my mind:
- Since this is a Japanese novel,
it inevitably operates within the
Japanese school system,
as well as traditional Japanese beliefs,
like Men have to stand up for themselves --
hence victims are seen as weaklings even by
their own parents --
which is quite sad for some kids,
because they simply cannot get help
anywhere despite the cruel acts that
are inflicted upon them.
I can't help but imagine how it's like
in America? I heard that there's bullying
here too... '_' how do kids deal with that?

- The novel mentioned that some kids choose
not to report to the teachers & pretend that
all things are fine when they're with their parents --
i cannot imagine that if i were in their shoes : 0
Why would i choose pride over protection?
mmm... or am i too trusting / hopeful?

- One of the interesting ideas this book
mentioned was that some victims actually
look up to their bullies...
They admire the bullies' self-confidence,
strength, braveness... exactly the qualities
these victims themselves lack!
Recently, i come to meet a new friend,
of whom i realize evoke similar emotions
in me -- i hate it that she bosses me around,
invades my personal space & privacy,
is rude and disrespectful...
yet at the same time, i can't help but wonder,
what if i were as confident as she is???

Favorite Quotes:
- "個性不合的夫婦還可以
(If a couple can no longer
get along with each other,
they can pursue divorce;
but what can a parent and a child do,
when they're in situations like that?) (Pg. 129)

(Kids that are hospitalized for a long time...
are too used to persevering and giving up
on things... Perhaps they've already lost
the energy to pursue after anything,
let alone the desire to dream.
Or better yet, their biggest dream --
to be discharged from the hospital
is deemed impossible?) (Pg. 168)

- "因為我很努力,
(It's only because I'm trying really hard,
that I'm able to persevere.) (Pg. 184)
* This is almost like my motto!

What came out of this:
* Insight: A better understanding of
the insider world of BULLYING,
as well as how culture affects
family relationships /friendships.

Why Should you read it, too?
This is a very well-written book
with a realistic approach on the
specific issue, while bringing hope
to the readers despite the brutal topic.

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