the housemaid book review

the housemaid book review

The Importance of “The Housemaid” Book Review

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1. Introduction

The introduction of “The Importance of The Housemaid” book review sets out the main theme and provides the framework for the whole essay. The title “Housemaid as Mirror Image” conveys the direct and clear idea about the housemaid, reflecting someone else’s image. And the author implements the same thought further into the first dialogue of chapter 9, “I knew that she was not talking to me, but to herself. She was trying to define the difference between herself and the amah in terms of the general run of their countrywomen.” He was right, this dialogue reflects the strong similarities between the housemaid and mistress in aspects of dressing and their discussion of amah and countrywomen. As amah and countrywomen are somewhat associated with past generations. While the lady was moving for her own work, she was comparing herself with the amah using the proverb “taking coals to Newcastle,” which means wasting time in doing something that was already done. This nostalgic past of ye old days lady misses the most as this is the pleasant and relaxing time of her life when she is not bound by today’s fast life. Ohno felt the same thing. This thought was strongly reflected in his writing. In the medical center, when the lady was preparing herself for the higher status, Maki, the ex-nurse, represents herself with today’s yeoman or, in other words, a farmer and protested not to go for a job different from this level. In contrast to Noor, which means field horse, has a job as laborer, were discussing the heavenly period of ye old days (today’s lady and amah period) and saying that those days have gone and it can’t be repealed.

2. Plot Summary

The system in that family has been supported by someone who works at the bottom of them, these servants have been fully loyal working for them. They are always replaced by one another. One of the servants, who is the movie’s main cast, is named Maria. Maria is good-looking and often being harassed by the man or even the master, but Maria has been very wise and knows how to handle it. Maria has an internal conflict due to having a relationship with a person from the same social class, and it is not possible to marry him. He has often said to Maria that she has worked too long in the familia and it is not good for her; she should immediately look for another job. Maria has been living a very long life with the family. Up to the events in the story, at the peak of Maria’s internal conflict, a French military will invade Austria and the news of this caused a stir among the familia. The masters had an idea to move to the country and take all the goods, including Maria. At that time, Maria made a decision to leave the job and go to her boyfriend, and so the incident of giving her decision letter to the madam became the last time she met with the madam.

The family is continued with two siblings, first a boy called Otto and second a girl called Anna. The children are still young and not too familiar with what is happening in their family.

The story tells about the life of middle-class people, bourgeoisie. The masters and their friends, behaving in a very high and luxurious life, paid a lot of attention to their stately house, furniture, and behaved according to ethics and morals. The husband has often been surrounded by a lot of female partners, acting as if it’s just a normal thing to do. From the beginning, it’s already proven that he is not acting to be a good father for his son. While the madam has been totally relying on her husband, acting like there’s nothing to worry about.

3. Analysis of Themes

“That’s odd, I always thought maids came from somewhere above. I never realized ours would have to rise from the very bottom.” This is a thought that is told by Ui-Hui when she sees the groveling old woman who would serve her very well for many years. This thought reflects her guilty feeling of hiring the old lady, but soon she buries this feeling and thinks that it is the best for her and the unborn baby. She thinks that with a maid, she can maintain her lifestyle and the baby will grow up in a better environment. It’s not that she’s totally selfish, she still cares about the old babysitter that the old woman and her husband had to fire, but she thinks the old babysitter can’t do much for her and the baby’s sake. This is a turning point where she begins to ignore the baby. Step by step, she does not want to do anything that she thinks is not good for the baby. And in the end, she starts abandoning the unborn baby.

Let people enjoy their life. Encourage people to live in the present and enjoy life before it slips away. The author is trying to point out the shallowness and melancholy of Ui-Hui’s life when she begins to regret her decision of having an abortion. As a noble wife, Ui-Hui is not used to doing household chores. She is not really good at it, even though she claims that she can do it. Several times she ruined the pancake and spilled the trash. She then realizes she needs a maid and begins to shift her priority from the baby to a maid.

4. Evaluation of Writing Style

The writing style that the author uses is one that took time for me to get used to. Kim describes it as “flat, unadorned prose, direct and simple, devoid of the artificial complexity.” This is an accurate description, although I wouldn’t necessarily describe it as “simple.” The writing style matches the tone of the novel perfectly. If the novel were to be written in a more extravagant fashion, it would take the focus away from the relationships between the characters and would place more emphasis on the world that they live in. When Yeong-hye is taken into hospital care, and a situation arises with her family, the hospitalization becomes a battleground for the sister and the husband over the reasoning of her depression at the cost of risking her life. Overall, I feel that The Vegetarian is a novel that I could read over again to gain a new perspective in the future as a result of my own personal growth. The story and writing style are both complex in their own unique ways, and the depth of the story is extraordinary. The novel is a depiction of the way in which multiple lives can become tumultuously tangled in a vain attempt to recreate normality. Kim gives a realistic portrayal of human nature in a variety of unnatural situations. Whether it be love, envy, morality, desire, responsibility, rebellion, or insanity, the characters in this story stick steadfast to what they believe up until the bitter end.

5. Conclusion and Recommendation

Hence, “The Housemaid” is a mirror representing the time of Japan in the beginning of the era of industrialization and modernity just after the old Tokugawa Shogunate Regime and the country started opening its boundary to the outside world. The significant western, particularly European, influence on Japan can also be reflected from the novel itself. Through the descriptions of characters, their actions or manners, and the conditions of the surrounding environment, those things can be observed and analyzed to understand the extent of the western influences on Japan at that time, and also to understand the impact given to the Japanese. This novel can also give the readers a picture of the social transition happening in Japan around the era of Meiji. An example is the termination of sticking feudalism when the old lady is forced to move out. And many more examples can be taken from this novel. So it can be concluded that this novel has its own way of telling the story. Narasaki successfully creates a cultural image with its mixing plot following the historical influences at that time. This novel can also remind us about the existence of the poor people who work so hard only to get a little money, the owner who forces her to work hard with little salary, and the old lady who tries to settle the problem of her grandchild with any effort she can do.

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