Although the books, Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami and Temple of the Golden Pavilion, by Yukio Mishima, are completely different works, both have uncannily similar characters. Each main character from these two books has at least one character in the other book who shares some of their traits. Some characters are easier to relate than others; therefore, I will be giving both similarities between characters, and differences. This should help to clarify how these characters can remain similar, yet come from completely different time periods, and completely different stories.
[...] He feels that it is his obligation to do this because it is an ability that he has. Kashiwagi uses his clubbed feet to attract women. By making himself look even more decrepit that what he really is, he draws on the motherly emotions of women and exploits them to ultimately get them into bed with him. Unlike Nagasawa, Kashiwagi acts this way, not out of a sense of obligation, but because he feels that it is owed to him. [...]
[...] of them is attracted to their story's protagonist, because they feel that they have something in common with him. Nagasawa mistakenly thinks that Toru feels nothing for people or things, and that he does things because he can. Sadly, I think this just indicates Nagasawa's need to find someone who is more like him. This need is easily identified in the book by the lack of friends that Nagasawa has. Peculiarly, he ends up befriending the protagonist merely from leaning that Toru enjoys The Great Gatsby. [...]
[...] Toru, who I have already mentioned, and Mizoguchi are as different as night and day as far as most of their personality traits go, but they share some similarities that might explain something of Japanese culture. Both of these characters are obsessed with something. Toru, as I have stated above, seems obsessed with helping other people. I'm not sure that I could categorize his need to help others as anything other than an obsession. I can't see anyone taking on the amounts of responsibility that he does in caring for others without being at least slightly obsessed with the idea. [...]
[...] Part of this may stem from his deep rooted affection for her. Another part of this may have been Toru's guilt at having been the last person to talk with Kizuki, his best friend and Naoko's boyfriend. In addition to this huge chore of helping Naoko through her psychological problems, Toru also took it upon himself to help a girl he had classes with names Midori. Midori was absolutely full of problems that she needed to work out. Her mother had died when she was young, her father was dying in the hospital (and ends up dying before the book is finished), she had tons of problems with her boyfriend, and she was terribly sexually frustrated. [...]
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