Kafka on the Shore


Haruki Murakami

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Kafka on the Shore: Chapter 18 Summary & Analysis

Nakata awakens at night in a clump of weeds in the vacant lot where he had been waiting for Goma. He vividly remembers stabbing Johnnie Walker, but there is no blood on his hands or clothes. However, Mimi and Goma are beside him, which makes him think it wasn’t a dream. For some reason, he is no longer able to understand them. Nakata returns Goma to her family.
Not for the first time, Nakata experiences a strange disconnect between his memories and the physical evidence of where he has been, suggesting that the mind and body may not always be entirely bonded to each other.
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Feeling that he must confess, Nakata approaches a policeman and tries to tell him what happened. The police officer assumes Nakata is a crazy old man and sends him on his way. As he leaves, Nakata warns that it will rain fish the next day, which the officer also writes off as nonsense. When sardines and mackerel inexplicably fall from the sky the next day, the police officer is shaken. Also the next day, the body of a famous sculptor is found stabbed to death in his home. Shocked, the police officer decides to keep quiet about Nakata’s prophecy. By then, Nakata has left town.
Like Kafka, who believes himself to be responsible for the violence he imagines or dreams about, Nakata believes he is responsible for the murder he remembers committing even though it seems like physical evidence of the event has disappeared. When Nakata makes an unlikely prediction about the future, it seems like he might simply be crazy. But the strange prediction comes true, giving Nakata credibility and suggesting that his perception, however surreal, might in fact reflect reality.
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