Review Haruki Murakami’s Use of Suspense in Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World
Suspense is a major style used by most literary authors to create the need for the readers to dig deeper in the literature story. The suspense is always reflected in the sense of anticipation to show the dearth of a wanted part of a story. It is created by the author and always captures different areas such as the plot of the story, the themes, settings and the character’s personality. In Haruki’s Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World the suspense is reflected in the characterization, plot settings, and themes. The suspense is demonstrated further in the progressive plots.
In most chapters the suspense in characterization goes overboard when the book starts at a point where the narrator has no name, yet he is the protagonist in the story line. The reader wants to meet the real name of the folks but the story only starts at the date of age and everyone wants to know more about the life of the narrator. The name is not mention anywhere however; his information is what we get. That is, he was married and now divorced. Indeed, it is the name of the narrator that probes most readers to continue reading, hoping to know the real name of the male narrator. As the story progresses, we meet other characters which makes the story even more twisted and lively. Apparently, when other new characters come in, the story shifts from the narrator to new characters. For example, we meet the librarian who is always hungry and becomes his girlfriend for two days, the scientist who employees the narrator, the Chubby girl among many other characters in the story. In fact, if it is not for the suspense to know the narrator’s name, the chances are slimmer of meeting the other nice characters. From the narrator’s question to the chubby girl: “Have I met you somewhere before?” (32), this triggers the mind of the reader to want to know more about the girl and at this juncture suspense serves its purpose best. As the story continues, the reader gets to know about the personality of the narrator and the girl, with an appetite. In several instances, the switching to different characters made the storyline transition from one plot setting to another.
Suspense and plot setting are dominant styles. For example, when the narrator is in the elevator he changes the plot and creates suspense in what he says. When he says “Every last thing about this elevator was world apart from the cheap die cut job in my apartment building, scarcely one touch up the evolutionary scale from a good bucket. You’d never believe the two pieces of machinery had the same name and the purpose the two were pushing the outer limits conceivable as elevator.” From the narrator’s view, the change of the environment can be sensed immensely and the reader would want to know how the narrator’s apartment looks like. The reader is curious to know more about the narrator’s house and continues reading to get more information on it. It is from these comparisons in the narrator’s lines that we build the curiosity of the real setting of the area and how it might be in the real world.
Moreover, the narrator gives us newer plot of suspense and thoughts. For example, when he says “with the approach of autumn, a layer of long golden fur grows over their bodies. Golden in the purest sense of the world, with not the last least interruption of another hue. There is gold that comes” the reader does not only want to find more about the golden herds meaning but it transforms one’s thoughts to a new style of imagery. Additionally, one will wonder why he has the new world of herds in his mind. As we read further we intercept that it is just imaginary fantasy in the narrator’s mind. However, from the use of imagery to drive the point home, it is much more exaggerated to an extent of losing the meaning. For instance, when the narrator fantasizes about how big his former house was and had an elevator, it is too unrealistic as his job could not pay for such a big house. Furthermore, in the real world it is hard finding the golden furs in animals during summer. These all show ambiguity and lack of factual imagery.
The book has used good style in presentation of the narrative. The story transforms the mind of the reader from normal storyline to world never imagined. This is evident when the line states “Your shadow is on the verge of death. A person has the right to see his own shadow under these circumstances. There are rules about this. The town observes the passing of the shadow as a solemn event, and the Gatekeeper does not interfere”. The narrator uses the style to teleport the readers’ minds from the normal world of the living to another fantasy world of the dead.