World Literature

Animoto – Duality

In this video montage of the novel, After Dark,  I chose to present the theme of duality and how Murakami uses this idea to describe the human experience.  Throughout this video presentation I used various photos, videos, quotes from the book, and music to represent duality. In the first section of the video, we chose to depict the happy and good appearance of people that we usually observe. To repress the good side, the music Hot Air Balloon by Owl City , To The Sky by Owl City, Over the Rainbow by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole  were used in the background. For most of the music, we tried to focus on the tune and not the lyrics because we thought it would express the feelings and would touch the audiences hearts. Along with the music, several family portraits, pictures of jovial people and ordinary people were displayed. The last half of the video montage, the dark side and the two sided characteristics were represented with sad music such as, Scarlet by Brooke Fraser, The Scientist by Coldplay, Fix You by Coldplay and  Hallelujah by Jeff Buckley. These songs express sorrow and a little confusion. As these songs were played, we also chose pictures that involved a representation of both the dark side and the bright side to present the duality. The short clips we have put into the video represent the “after dark” and  the time when people start to show their true deep personalities they keep inside of themselves.

Murakami builds the theme of duality, by using various characters’ actions, to  present how the people in society have both a bad and good side to themselves. Some characters like Kaoru, Shirakawa and Mari portray duality because they possess both a light side and a dark side to the character. Throughout the whole video, we inserted many quotes that depict the theme of duality like, “What makes the mask truly eerie is that even though it fits the face like a second skin, it prevents us from even imagining what (if anything) the person within is thinking, feeling, or planning.Is the man’s presence a good thing? A bad thing? Are his thoughts straight? Twisted? Is the mask meant to hide him? Protect him? We have no clue.” This quote shows that people cannot fully understand a person just by their experience and can only predict what their personality is. One example where Murakami shows dualism is by using a character who seems like an ordinary salary man, Shirakawa, but actually has a very dark side in himself, “In general appearance, he gives the same impression as a well-ordered room. He does not look like the kind of man who would buy a Chinese prostitute in a love hotel..” I believe that with duality it tells us that you cannot judge a person by their appearance and a person’s strength is greatly defined by their choice to repress their dark side and to live through their better side.

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