The Kitchen: Are The Women Independent Or Dependent? Essay, Research Paper
In the Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto, the character Tomo lives in a traditional Japenese society where women are very dependent. Women in Japan faced severe restrictions in matters concerning choice of career and marriage. On the other hand, virtually all women had a basic education and some even attended college. There thus developed an independence of spirit which permitted women to make important choices within the confines of a restrictive society. Tomo lived in a time and place where she did not have much choice but to obey and support her husband. As a result of the culture she lived in, all of her decisions were based on the very fact that she was not free to make her own choice.
Tomo had to find a concubine for her husband. She had the control over who would be the concubine but she did not have the power to tell her husband that she did not want him to get a concubine. Tomo had no choice but to find a concubine to the utmost standards so that the concubine would not reflect negatively on the family. This demonstrates that due to the confinement of her society, even though some of the decisions were left up to Tomo to make, they were all based on obeying and pleasing someone else.
If a woman in Japan at this period of time were to rebel and stand up for her rights, she would lose everything. At that time, everything was nothing but family. If Tomo had left her husband, she would lose her children and life for her would be very difficult. Even though she is educated, she would have a hard time getting a job. Tomo was so dependent on her husband that even if she did find a job, she would not be able to find one that would support the life style that she was accustomed to. And if she wanted to come back to her family, they would most likely ignore her and not take her back. This shows that the traditions and the culture of Japan at the time made it hard for Japenese women to be independent.
I believe that every women has independent thoughts just like Tomo did in the Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto. But when the actions are dependent, then they are dependent. The very fact that Tomo wanted to be free and self reliant but she did not pursue what she desired shows that she is not independent. She was so reliant on her husband that she could not imagine losing what she had. If Tomo was born into a society where she was free to make her own choices for herself then the story might be different, but in this case, Tomo is a woman who wants to be free but is afraid to stand up for herself.
Yoshimoto, Banana. Kitchen.