Horrific Tragedies that Stick

Masuji Ono experienced a war that stripped him of life, stole away his wife & son and diminished his desire to create graceful pieces of art.  Ono is working to piece back together his collapsing home that used to be filled with great Joy and happiness. Throughout the novel, we begin to understand that although Ono bears the weight of the war and retains the horrific memories, he chooses to push them out. Remembering tragedy and dwelling in the past can bring back feelings of extreme loneliness, guilt and regret. We begin to feel the complete and utter disheartenment that follows such a great national disaster. As the novel continues, Ono attempts to reject his past and explains that “Of course that is all a matter of many years ago now and I cannot vouch that those were my exact words that morning”. When faced with recalling these events, Ono says, “there seems little to be gained in my recalling such things here”. 


When disaster strikes, every year after, the anniversary arises and people remember where they were, their emotions and their reactions to the tragedy. We remember the details of what we were doing when we heard that the Twin Towers had been hit or what we were doing when the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded in midair above an audience containing the passengers loved ones. Although as time passes it may become harder to recall specific details accurately, we will never forget what we were feeling during these dark hours. These memories of emotion recur because memory and emotion are inextricably linked in the brain. Strong memories such as experiencing life or death stranded from Hurricane Katrina or losing a loved one to a horrific accident have a strong emotional impact and many times a physical impact as well.

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