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Books

The Miracle Turned Out to Be a Sad Story

June 23, 2022 by Essay Writer

On seeing the 100% perfect girl one beautiful April morning by Haruki Murakami tells a hopeful, yet sad story of two lost lovers in Harajuku who never find their way back to each other. Murakami takes the reader on a journey through the past and present, while narrated by a man who loses his 100% perfect girl. The author captures the reality of life and emotions through many elements of the story, including imagery, setting, the changing plot and themes relating to love and loss. The hopes of a happily ever after fairytale for the two lovers quickly fade as On seeing the 100% perfect girl one beautiful April morning continues.

Murakami’s skillful use of imagery throughout the short story helps give a further understanding and connection to the characters and the place they see each other. In the first sentence of the story, the reader finds that the characters live in Tokyo, Japan and are currently walking down a narrow street in Harajuku when they see and pass each other. The man realizes she is the perfect girl for him from the first very first glance. The narrator then starts to explain what his 100% perfect girl looks like.

“Tell you the truth, she’s not that good looking. She doesn’t stand out in any way She isn’t young either – must be near thirty, not even close to a “girl” properly speaking. But still, I know from fifty yards away: She’s the 100% perfect girl for me.”

From this description, we are able to visualize what the 100% perfect girl for him looks like and how individual she is. He explains that the girl isn’t his type whatsoever, there was nothing that stood out about her to him. “All I can remember for sure is that she was no great beauty. It’s weird.”. The reader is able to learn that the man did not think she was perfect for her hair, height or mannerisms, but simply because he felt that she was right for him. As the man walks past his 100% girl, they pass a flower shop, “while warm air touches my skin and the smell of roses fills the air”. This is a great representation of the love or attraction that he is feeling when he walks past her. Similar to a fairytale, the coincidence of such a scene while walking past the person you are meant to be with seems too good to be true.

Murakami’s plot development explores the factors of a fairytale story between the two lovers. Finding your 100% perfect person seems extremely unlikely to happen and makes the reader question their connection. The relationship seems romantic since the man doesn’t seem to care what she looks like, but instead feels as if they are meant to be together. The reader is able to hope for a happy ending at the beginning of the story. The fairy tale plot continues further when it is discovered they have met before. Towards the end of the story, the reality of life takes over the expected happily ever after ending, showing the extensive and unexpected plot development.

The plot and themes develop further due to Murakami’s use of language. The man’s language is very informal, which shows he is not proper or posh in any way. This gives further understanding of the mannerisms and personality of the character. The feeling of love and loss is expressed through the man’s language. He voices his feelings of regret and sadness when talking about his 100% perfect person. The story feels realistic as it portrays the clear emotions you would feel while dealing with heartbreak. We learn how the man copes with the pain of his realization and his reaction to the entire situation through his language. The reader is able to sympathize for the character after understanding how he is feeling and are able to relate to the emotions.

Another element of On seeing the 100% perfect girl that further develops the story is the narrative viewpoint. The story is written in the first person and is narrated by the man who has found his 100% perfect person on an average day. We are taken on a journey through his reaction to the situation and hear first-hand every emotion he feels. The reader is able to explore the man’s brain, as if they are listening to him having a discussion with himself. This makes the story a lot more personal as the feelings are unfiltered and truthful.

There were two consistent themes throughout On seeing the 100% perfect girl. At first the reader is introduced to the theme of love, while the man sees his 100% perfect girl. He feels at a loss for words, stunned and confused about how someone could be so perfect for him.

“The moment I see her, there’s a rumbling in my chest, and my mouth is as dry as a desert.”

He does not know why he feels the way he does, but knows he needs to spend the rest of his life with the girl. While walking closer to her, the man feels extremely nervous and can’t muster any words for the fear of saying something stupid. The theme of love quickly fades as he walks past her without saying anything and instantly regrets it. When he turns around, he is unable to find her as she is lost in the crowd on the busy street in Harajuku as the theme of loss develops.

“I take a few more strides and turn: She’s lost in the crowd.

Now of course, I know exactly what I would have said to her.”

As soon as he walks past his 100% perfect girl, all of the memories of his past come rushing back. He realized that they had met fourteen years ago, and they had developed a relationship back then. A feeling of loss and regret becomes the next theme for the short story, he begins to reminisce on the time they spent together all those years ago and how special it was.

“They had found and been found by their 100% perfect other. What a wonderful thing it is to find and be found by your 100% perfect other. It’s a miracle, a cosmic miracle.”

Themes of love and loss continue consistently throughout the short story. As the man thinks about what he would have said to his 100% perfect girl, he sounds so overjoyed with their past relationship, almost as if there was a glimmer of hope for their love in his words. As he realizes that he has missed his chance to meet with her again and tell her their strange love story, sadness and regret overtakes the character from the realization.

After the man comes to a conclusion about what he would have said to the girl, the story ends abruptly, leaving the reader feeling a great amount of sympathy for both of the characters. The ending being conclusive yet anticlimactic. “Sad story don’t you think? Yes, that’s it, that’s what I would have said to her.”. After reading about the two’s history, it is hard to believe that is the end for them. Did the 100% perfect lovers find their way back together or was that the heartbreaking ending to their story?

While reading On seeing the 100% perfect girl, the reader is captivated by the 100% perfect others’ hopeless love story, from the clever use of imagery, to the emotive themes and consistently developing plot. Murakami created a character that you can’t help but feel sympathy for, due to the extensive details about the emotions he’s feeling through the language and narration. The short story makes the reader question whether the two 100% others were meant to be together and if fate truly did exist for them both in the end.   

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