The Ice Man Essay

915 Words Dec 7th, 2013 4 Pages
The Isolated Iceburg “The Ice Man”, by Haruki Murakami, is the story of a 20 year old Japanese woman who falls deeply in love with an Ice Man. Everyone seems to avoid the Ice Man, but the woman is strangely attracted to him. The woman and the Ice Man begin to date, and eventually get married. The woman's family and friends are so ashamed of the marriage that they stop talking to the woman completely. Although she does love him, the woman begins to grow bored of the repetition and isolation the Ice Man has brought her. She decides they should go to the South Pole for vacation, because she believes the Ice Man will enjoy it there. When they reach the South Pole the woman becomes even more isolated than she was in Japan. She also …show more content…
The “little apartment” setting shows that the couple does not live an extravagant life and the man works to merely pay the bills. In Japan, “there are norms, standards, or models to which men and woman are expected to conform to if they wish to interact appropriately and acceptably with others.” (Marriage in Contemporary Japan, 55) The Ice Man does not conform to societies standards, and there fore is unable to acceptably interact with others. When the woman marries the Ice Man, she too is breaking cultural standards, which causes society to reject her. “Within the framework of Japanese society, it is widely accepted that the salaryman, often referred to as a 'corporate warrior' represents the hegemonic masculine role-model.” (Marriage in Contemporary Japan, 56) The Ice Man is far from a “corporate warrior”, he does not fit the role of a masculine Japanese man. The woman most likely comes from a well off family, who does not approve of low-class foreigners. Her parents would have wanted her to marry “a salaryman who can pay a female to serve him.”(Marriage in Contemporary Japan, 57) The woman was expected to marry someone that would provide her with money, while she would take care of the children and other house work, as was the norm in early 20th century Japan. Modern day Japan has begun to break the confines of previous endogamous

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