Essay about Review on Confessions of a Mask

1406 Words Oct 18th, 2005 6 Pages
Masks and alternate identity is a major theme in Mishima Yukio's Confessions of a Mask. The narrator believes that throughout his youth, he had been playing a role on a stage to hide his real self. However, contrary to what the narrator claims, throughout the novel, he is not playing the role of another personality. He is simply hiding. It is only in the conclusion, when the when the war is over, and the need for order and principle and everyday life is restored, that he finally sees the creation of his other identity – the masculine figure that conforms to the society's idea of men.
Before he reaches puberty, the narrator is oblivious to the differences between his peers and himself – he simply assumes that everybody else is just
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His desire for their body has less to do with his carnal desire than his desire to embody it. His failure to achieve it and the obvious difference between their bodies make the narrator ashamed of his body, and tries to hide it. In other words, what he considered as his mask – his role as a male – is also part of the ‘shame' that he is trying to conceal.
His relationship with Sonoko, however, brings a turning point to his life. As he becomes more acquainted with Sonoko, he begins to realize that "maybe I am becoming the sort of person who is incapable of acting contrary to his true nature, and maybe I do really love her." As he understands that his feeling has less to do with social conformity than with his honest pure feelings, he begins to hope for a possibility of a transition. When the narrator thinks of borrowing a private room in a hotel to sleep with her, he hopes that "Sure then, surely at that time I would be able to do it. Surely normality would burst into flames within me like a divine revelation. Surely I would be reborn as a different person…." He wishes that he could move out from the shame of his imperfection as a man.
Although hope comes to its climax when he decides to kiss Sonoko, his kiss with the girl does not bring him the transition he seeks for. His kiss with her does not evoke any sense of carnal desire inside him. There is no stimulation. He realizes

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