26th February, 2015
Sound of Waves Essay: Characterization of Yasuo
When we are first presented with the character of Yasuo in The sound of Waves, Yukio Mishima uses direct/indirect characterization to present him as an intelligent, well-respected young man who seems to have a bright future ahead of him. Later on in the novel, Mishima uses figurative language and point of view from other characters to show us Yasuo's true characterization as being lazy, having apathy, arrogance, and sense of entitlement for everything through his words and actions.
Mishima starts off the novel characterizing Yasuo as a person who pays attention to his surroundings and uses it to his advantage. “Although only nineteen, Yasuo was the son of a leading family in the village and passed the power to make the others follow him. Young as he was, he already knew the secret of giving himself importance” (Mishima 22). Not only did Yasuo have a sense of leadership around the young men around his age, but when he went on the freight ship he was able to gain the respect of his elder by having logical reasoning when it came to talking about the most odd things. Mishima uses the simile, “…his iron-like hand felt from the hands of men in Tokyo” (60) comparing Yasuou’s arm to an iron to show that he was pretty strong.
Yasuo’s sense of entitlement for everything begins to show at such an early stage in the novel. He’s so sure that he’s going to be the chosen one who ends up marrying Hatsue. “I’ve always been a favorite of Uncle Teru’s, all right… So everyone’s saying I’m sure to be chosen for Hatsue’s husband and adopted into the family” (62). It could have passed by as being strongly confident, but since he kept repeating that and showed that he felt superior to others it can be seen as snofrbbish. The metaphor that Mishima uses to compare Shinji to a sneaky fox going around getting women shows the delusional ideas that Yasuo begins to contemplate. “…Shinji had seduced Hatsue, he had certainly been no virgin. All the time he had been coming to the Young Men’s Association, sitting there innocently clasping his knees… all that time he’d been having women on the sly. That little fox!” (87). He feels so much better than anyone else that he can’t imagine a bbfisherman like Shinji being able to win Hatsue’s heart over. Who would pick someone of the lower class when they…