Ideological Effect Of Empathetic Identification Essay examples

1096 Words Dec 12th, 2015 5 Pages
Ideological Effect of Empathetic Identification to Historical Fiction

In the novel Obasan, by Joy Kogawa, the genres of “imaginative fiction” and “historical fiction” are blended together, ultimately with a purpose of exposing the public to an event that has emotional value to the author. Specifically with Obasan, Kogawa recalls the suffering of the Japanese-Canadians during World War 2 using fictional characters in a very real and emotional setting. It is apparent that one of the main purposes of this novel was to expose the public to the suffering and hardships that were not very apparent at the time (1981). Scholars like Kimberly Davis and Eva Marie Koopman discuss the difference between empathy and sympathy and how it affected the perspective of readers who identified with stories. Davis argues against other scholars that empathy “is an active cognitive process of imagination that can play an important role in catalyzing action (Davis 404)”. Looking more at the issue of how these feelings are generated, Koopman examines the difference between “cognitive empathy” and “emotional empathy” (Koopman 64). Whether the novel conveyed either type of empathy or sympathy, Obasan created a change in the ideology of the Japanese-Canadians during World War 2, not only on a political level, as Davis speaks to, but on an individual social level.
Many readers of Kogawa’s work were deeply moved, regardless of race or age, and felt an understanding and personal connection to what the…

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