Kafka on the Shore

by

Haruki Murakami

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Kafka on the Shore: Chapter 33 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Kafka takes the morning off from work at the library to work out at the gym and puzzle through his relationship with Miss Saeki. The boy named Crow tells Kafka that he’s trapped—in the relationship as well as in his new life in the library. Heading back to the library, he passes some police officers and worries again about being apprehended.
Crow, an inner voice who dispenses both advice and criticism, points out that Kafka has allowed himself to become controlled by his belief in fate and destiny. Kafka has a sense that everything that happens is predetermined, which makes him feel stuck and powerless.
Themes
The Mind vs. The Body Theme Icon
Fate and Prophecy Theme Icon
Back at the library, Oshima comments on the fact that Kafka took all of his possessions with him to the gym in his big backpack. He says the backpack is like a symbol of freedom for Kafka. Oshima warns him that true freedom and independence are unlikely to be achievable.Kafka brings Miss Saeki some coffee, and she asks about his trip to the gym. He says he wants to become stronger, because he has no one to rely on but himself—like a stray crow, which is why he chose the name “Kafka,” because it means “Crow” in Czech. Kafka turns the conversation back to the book about lightning strikes, and Miss Saeki says firmly that she never met Kafka’s father.
Oshima astutely picks up on Kafka’s strong desire to be self-sufficient, which manifests itself in the form of the backpack he carries with him everywhere. His desire to be strong and independent also affects how he thinks about his body: he hopes that by training himself to be physically strong, he can become more independent. As his relationship with Oshima itself demonstrates, however, Kafka does need relationships with others to survive. Kafka’s statement that he can only rely on himself is contradicted by the fact that he relies on Oshima and Miss Saeki.
Themes
Fate and Prophecy Theme Icon
The Virtues of Self-Sufficiency Theme Icon
Miss Saeki brings up the night before, and says she thinks she might have been making up for lost time. Kafka says that he is, too, in the sense that he’s trying to make up for his damaged childhood. That night, they sleep together again.
Miss Saeki and Kafka acknowledge the fact that they are using each other and being drawn into an increasingly damaging relationship to make up for lost connections of the past.
Themes
The Virtues of Self-Sufficiency Theme Icon