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Memoirs Of A Geisha Theme Analysis Essay

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Memoirs Of A Geisha Essay, Research Paper
Memoirs of a Geisha (Book Report) 1) Plot: This exotic fable is about a young, innocent girl named Chiyo (9 years old in 1929) who lives in a poor fishing village in Yoroido with her older sister Satsu, her father and sick mother. Since Chiyo?s mother is going to die soon and her father can?t do much to support their family, he sells his two daughters into slavery to a renowned geisha house. Chiyo has unusual blue-gray eyes, which later helps her capture peoples? attention, especially men?s. Unfortunately, her sister is taken to a different district and from this time on, little Chiyo lives her life in agony because she has no family left and she?s a maid serving a notorious geisha named Hatsumomo. Hatsumomo can also be referred to as a witch because she does anything like spreading false rumors to make Chiyo?s life miserable. One day while running an errand for the house that she lives in, Chiyo falls down on a stone near a river and starts to cry for she can no longer endure the pain and hardships she is going through at such a young age. Luckily, the Chairman of a wealthy electric company comes across her while he?s walking with his business associates. He takes notice of her and goes up to see what is the matter with her. As he lifts her chin up and looks into her eyes, he is marveled by the beauty her eyes posses. All he can do is stare. He gives her a handkerchief and a few compliments and tells her not to worry because everything will be fine. The Chairman then leaves but he never leaves Chiyo?s thoughts or dreams. He is the only person who has been kind to her all her life and for the past years, all she dreams about is meeting this wonderful man again and getting to know him. To make a long story short, the Chairman never forgets Chiyo and how beautiful she is, so he goes to a well-known geisha by the name of Mameha and asks her to adopt Chiyo as her younger sister so she can train her to become a geisha too. The Mother of the house where Chiyo lives is a wicked woman and when Mameha comes to arrange Chiyo to become her younger sister, Mother agrees but knows that Chiyo won?t ever succeed. Hatsumomo tells people lies about Sayuri (her named changed from Chiyo to Sayuri after she became an apprentice geisha) so she can ruin her career because she is jealous. Mameha, on the other hand, is Hatsumomo?s enemy so she introduces Sayuri to popular men so she can wins their hearts and attention. This is the next time Sayuri meets the Chairman but now she?s all grown up; she doesn?t know if he remembers her. The Chairman?s partner, Nobu likes Sayuri and he wants to become her danna? having Sayuri as his mistress. Years after years of struggling to be with Sayuri, he never succeeds. During this whole time Sayuri is in love with the Chairman but he never seems to pay attention to her. Finally, the Chairman and Sayuri tell each other how they feel towards one another and he becomes her danna (sort of like a husband, but not exactly). They travel to the United States on business trips and after a few years, Sayuri moves to New York City from Gion, Japan to make her living as a teahouse owner and an artist?geisha. 2) Ending: Sayuri is able to find her way out from becoming the mistress of a few men who are interested in her. All her life of living in misery comes to an end the day the Chairman comes to talk to her and tells her how much he likes her and has liked her ever since he laid eyes on her by the river when she was just a little girl. Sayuri tells him that he is what she?s wanted all her life and they finally are able to be together. They travel together and she settles in New York City and opens a teahouse where men go there and engage in a conversation with geishas. The Chairman dies after Sayuri moves to New York City but he lives on inside her heart. 3) a. Main character: Of course, the main character in this book is Sayuri who is a mostly believable heroine. Her ambitions were not always rational but this creates a more imperfect and human character. Through her eyes, we see the decadent heart of Gion–the geisha district of Kyoto–with its marvelous teahouses and theaters, narrow back alleys, ornate temples, and artists’ streets. Her transformation is seen as she learns the rigorous arts of the geisha: dance and music; wearing kimono, elaborate makeup and hair; pouring sake to reveal just a touch of inner wrist; competing with a jealous rival for men’s solicitude and the money that goes with it. Soon, World War II begins and the geisha houses are forced to close. Sayuri, with the help of her admirer, Nobu, is taken into a haven where she spends the remainder of the war sewing balloons (hot-air balloon and parachutes). Growing up without any parents, she leads an awful life but with the help of the Chairman and Mameha, she is able to work herself up and become a dignified woman who captures the hearts of many. b. Problem-conflict: The main conflict is that some geishas in Japan would do anything to ruin the reputation of others because the fewer geisha there are and the more popular they are, the more money they will make. So Hatsumomo, an envious geisha sets out to ruin Sayuri?s life who has nothing nor anyone in this world. In this novel, Sayuri proves to be the toughest one out of Hatsumomo and many other geisha because she works herself up respectively and wins the admiration?s of so many people that she is soon adopted as the daughter of the house she used to serve and live in. After all, the one who deserved all the kindness and respect received it although it took many years and a great deal of sufferings. c. Antagonist I?d be a liar if I didn?t tell you that Hatsumomo was the antagonist in this story although some other people tried to do bad things too. But she was the corrupt one who caused Sayuri so much grief and made her live under her control. One time, she told the Mother of the house that Sayuri has stolen her bracelet and the Mother believed her. She beat Sayuri and asked her to pay for an expensive piece of jewelry she had not even touched. Hatsumomo also tried to end Sayuri?s geisha days but I?m happy to say that she went down herself, d. Climax: The climax of the story was when Sayuri had arranged to sleep with the Minister and have Nobu find her with him. Something happened that changed everything. Instead of Nobu discovering them together, the Chairman walked in and you can imagine how Sayuri felt. The reason why Sayuri had planned this scheme for Nobu to find them was because Nobu wanted to become Sayuri?s danna and Sayuri didn?t like him although he had been kind enough to her to save her from working in the factories because he cared about her. Obviously she didn?t like him so she had planned that if Nobu walked in on them together, he would change his mind about her. But after the Chairman saw her with the Minister, he went and told Nobu. As for Sayuri?she thought the Chairman would hate her and she would never have a chance with him. She was wrong, for in fact, this incident made the Chairman realize how important she really was to him and how much he liked her. Therefore, three days later he sought to see her and that?s when he told her how he felt about her and she was stunned. This event turned things around and they ended up being together after 18 years of waiting to make a move. e. Resolution: After Nobu heard how unfaithful she had been towards him, he completely erased Sayuri from his life. Never did he mention her name again. He had told her before that if she were to betray him, he would never forgive her. So as I mentioned before, the Chairman and Sayuri became lovers and she became his mistress since he was married. And for the remainder of their lives, they lived pleasantly. f. Theme (deeper meaning) What I take to be the theme of this memoir is that a person can accomplish anything in life if they have set their mind on it and if they believe they can get there. Never giving up hope and always looking for a brighter day will eventually lead you to what you?re out there searching for. In Sayuri?s case, she was a slave who won the heart of a man and worked herself up to become one of the most successful geishas in all of Japan and to be united with the man she loved who motivated her all her life. I learned to be courageous from Sayuri and never give up dreaming because I believe that if you want something badly, you can transform your dreams into realties. g. Foreshadowing This could have been seen when wherever Sayuri went in the evenings, Hatsumomo followed her and it became obvious that she was plotting to go to those teahouses and spread rumors about her to the people she had recently entertained. Another foreshadowing can be seen when the Mother of the house adopts Sayuri because we know that Hatsumomo had been living in that house much longer than Sayuri had and she had hopes of being the one adopted. So it was apparent as to what would happen to her and that is, she became enraged and fought with the Mother, therefore, she was kicked out of the house onto the streets. The final foreshadowing I was able to see was when Sayuri was sleeping with the Minister because there were footsteps near the building and the Minister assumed it was only birds chirping but I figured it would either be Nobu or the Chairman and indeed, it was the Chairman.

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Memoirs of a geisha essay - Essay Writing Service Worth Your Attention

Memoirs of a geisha essay

Devorah White May 11, 2016

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Memoirs of a Geisha Summary & Study Guide

Memoirs of a Geisha Summary & Study Guide

This detailed literature summary also contains Quotes and a Free Quiz on Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden.

Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden is a novel about the life of Chiyo, also known as Sayuri (once she becomes a geisha). It is an account of a young girl from a fishing village called Yoroido, located on the Sea of Japan whose mother is very ill and whose father cannot fathom what he will do when he is left alone to look after two young girls by himself. One man provides a solution, but it is never clear whether the father understands the entire truth of the arrangement he enters into.

Mr. Tanaka runs the largest company in town – the Japan Coastal Seafood Company. He becomes aware of this family and their situation when he meets young Chiyo for the first time. He can already see what a lovely young woman she will be one day, and he begins to plan even then. Mr. Tanaka tells Chiyo a story about himself and how as a child he lost his parents to death. He was adopted by a wonderful family who gave him every opportunity in life, and he assures her that this could be in her future as well. In fact, not long afterward, he goes to see her father and makes arrangements for both girls to come and spend the night with him and his family, presumably to see if they would like the home and family. Chiyo is thrilled, but Satsu merely follows along, doing as she is told.

The first indication that something may be amiss is when Mr. Tanaka invites a doctor to come and examine the girls. The examination includes confirmation that they are both still intact, but young Chiyo doesn’t understand the implications of such an examination, telling herself that this nice man merely wants to ensure they are completely healthy before taking them on. She has no idea that to him she is merely a commodity who will soon be sold to an okiya where she is expected to one day become a geisha.

Events unfold quickly, and the girls are picked up again soon after this overnight visit, but they are not taken back to Mr. Tanaka’s home. Instead, they arrive at a train station where they are handed from one virtual stranger to another, fed nothing, and travel all day to face a new life. Chiyo is separated from her sister Satsu the minute they arrive in Tokyo. Chiyo is the lucky one of the two sisters, with exotic good looks that makes becoming a geisha a real possibility. Satsu is sold to another house where she is trained in the art of pleasing a man physically.

Memoirs of a Geisha follows Chiyo through her adjustment to the okiya where she is dumped to her eventual adoption by the woman she knows only as Mother – the woman who runs the okiya. This is not a move made out of love or sympathy. It is strictly a business proposition and ensures that all money made by Chiyo in her new life as Sayuri will stay with the house. Of course, the benefit to Sayuri is that one day she will stand to inherit all that the Nitta okiya has, but until then she is a leaf subject to the winds that blow.

First, she is trained in the arts of entertaining from playing instruments to dancing and performing tea ceremonies. Once she is ready, she is dressed in the proper garb of an apprentice geisha. Next, she is attached to an ‘older sister’ by way of a tea ceremony. The older sister will teach her what she needs to know. Then, she is prepared for her mizuage ceremony. This is the ceremony that signifies that her virginity has been sold to the highest bidder. Once she has had her mizuage, she can try to attract a danna. A danna is the man who will pay her expenses and buy her gifts in return for the pleasure of her company whenever he calls. It is a life of servitude, with little to look forward to, but Sayuri dreams. She dreams of attracting the attentions of a single man – the Chairman.

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Analysis Of Memoirs Of A Geisha English Literature Essay

Analysis Of Memoirs Of A Geisha English Literature Essay

Published: 23rd March, 2015 Last Edited: 23rd March, 2015

This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

But only Chiyo ends up in a geisha house, an okiya, her sister becomes a prostitute. Chiyo stays in the Nitta-okiya. Here lives the most successful geisha of Gion: Hatsumomo. She is a real bitch and she tries to make Chiyo's life as miserable as possible. Chiyo's only friend in the okiya is Pumpkin. Pumpkin has the same age as Chiyo and together they go to a geisha school. Chiyo tries to escape from the Nitta-okiya but she failed. Now she has to quit her school and work as a maid in the okiya. Mameha is another successful geisha and she's the biggest enemy of Hatsumomo. She becomes Chiyo's big sister and teach her to be a geisha.

d. Sayuri is the I person in the book. She's the narrator. You see the things through her eyes.

e. Hatsumomo: She's the mean geisha from the Nitta-okiya. She's very handsome but also very mean. Chiyo is a big rival for Hatsumomo and she will do anything to make her look bad.

Pumpkin: She's Chiyo's only friend in the okiya. She's not very handsome but she's not ugly at all. Chiyo named her Pumpkin because when she's working on something, her tongue is hanging out of her mouth. Now everybody calls her Pumpkin.

Chiyo meets the chairman when she's only a child who is crying on a bidge because she misses her sister. The chairman says that the day is too beautiful to cry and he buys her an ice cream. He gives the change and his wiper to her. Chiyo keeps his wiper forever. Right at this moment Chiyo decides that she really want to be a geisha and that she wants to see him again someday.

Nobu is a weird person. He doesn't want to know anything about geisha's. He is the chairman's business partner. When he sees Sayuri (Chiyo's geisha name), he's sold and want to see her more often. He is even thinking about become her Danna. A Danna is a protector of a geisha, the Danna pays everything for the geisha en she's keeping him company instead.

f. Â The story takes most of the time place in Japan. Most of this is in Kyoto and the area around Kyoto. At the beginning the story is in the little village Yoroido. The story also takes you to the south of Tokyo and islands in the south of Japan. In the end you end up in New York.

g. The story starts in the year 1929 and ends in the 1970's. I know that because of some dates that were in the book and because of the age of the main character. The end date is a guess, I don't know for sure. The story is told chronologically but in fact the whole book is a huge flashback because it is told after it happened. Sayuri/Chiyo looks back on her days as a Geisha.

h. The story is told in the 'I-perspective'. You don't get to know directly what other characters are thinking because you everything throughout Sayuri's/Chiyo's eyes. You do get to know what Sayuri knows and thinks. I like this way of writing because you get to know the main-character. When she's happy I feel happy and when she's sad, I feel sad too. It is a great way of reading.

i. The title is "Memoirs of a Geisha" because the book is a composition of Sayuri's experiences and her life. It's like a diary.

j. Â I think the author of this book wants to show the culture of Japan and that this must be kept.

3. Leesbeleving en evaluatie

a. I liked this book very much. I also have seen the movie. Then I could see a picture in front of me with every person in the book. I really like Japanese history and the land itself. Sushi and that kind of stuff! Geisha's always interested me so this book was nice to read. The combination between the cruelness of Hatsumomo and the love between the Chairman and Chiyo is perfect! I really love this kind of books. The story is not boring at all. You would think that because it is about history! But really, it isn't.

b. I would recommend this book to my classmates because it is a very interesting story. It has many pages so it would take a while to read it but it's worth it!

c. The most touching parts of the book were where Hatsumomo does everything to make Chiyo look bad.

This is a part when Hatsumomo tells a lie to Auntie. She tells her that Chiyo stole her bracelet and sold it. This isn't true. This is also the part that disappointed me the most because it is really cruel what she does to Chiyo.

Quote: 'My jewelery !' Hatsumomo said. 'This stupid, stupid girl!'. And here she began to beat me. (. ) 'Oh mother,' Hatsumomo said, 'on my way back to the okiya this evening, I thought I saw little Chiyo at the end of the alleyway talking to a man. I didn't think anything of it, because I knew it couldn't be her. She isn't supposed to be out of the okiya at all. But when I went up to my room, I found my jewelery box in disarray, and rushed back down just in time to see Chiyo handing something over to the man.'

4. Achtergrond informatie en bronnen

Arthur Golden is an American writer. He's a member of the Ochs-Sulzberger family. They are the owners of the New York Times. He's born in Tennessee. He studied at Harvard University and graduated in history of the arts: Japanese art. He also studies at Peking University and he worked in Tokyo. 'Memoirs of a geisha' was two years of the New York Times bestseller list. The book has been translated into thirty-two languages around the world. Golden rewrote his book three times and finally chose for the I-perspective.

I found it on Wikipedia (I'm sorry!) and also on the back of my book.

5. Finally, roughly how much time did you spend reading the book?

About two and a half weeks. During the vacation I read now and then whole days this book and it has many pages.

Memoirs of a Geisha Themes

Memoirs of a Geisha Memoirs of a Geisha Themes

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Coming of Age

An alternate title for Memoirs of a Geisha would be Memoirs of a Maiko or, in English, Memoirs of Being an Apprentice Geisha. The vast majority of the book takes place on Chiyo's journey to becomin.

Tradition and Customs

If this book were called Memoirs of a Barista or Memoirs of a Cubicle Worker it wouldn't have been quite the sensation that it was. One of the reasons Memoirs of a Geisha was so popular when it cam.


What do you wear when you go to work or to school? Do you dress for style or for comfort? Some wear jeans and a t-shirt wherever they go. Some people must dress more formal for work, wearing a powe.

"A geisha is not technically a prostitute. Here is a useful rule: Anyone who is not technically a prostitute is a prostitute." That's Roger Ebert, summing up the role of a geisha for the film adapt.

Fate and Free Will

Memoirs of a Geisha spends a lot of time talking about ritual. And there's a good reason for that: the life of a geisha is super-ritualized, with hours spent putting on makeup, doing hair, and wrap.


When Americans think of Japan and competition, they probably think of sumo wrestling, major league gaming, or those crazy obstacles courses that inspired Wipeout and American Ninja Warrior. They pr.

Geisha are masters at singing, dancing, and playing traditional Japanese music with the shamisen guitar or the tzuzumi drum. But we have to wonder if they ever put down the hand drum and pick up th.