Kafka on the Shore


Haruki Murakami

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Kafka on the Shore: Chapter 44 Summary & Analysis

Hoshino and Nakata burn Miss Saeki’s files in a dry river bed. Nakata says that he has to take a nap, but afterwards, they’ll be able to close the entrance stone. On the drive back to the apartment, Hoshino thanks Nakata for changing his perspective. In the last few days, he’s had more new experiences than in his entire life before, and he feels like he looks at the world through Nakata’s eyes now. But Nakata doesn’t hear, because he’s already fallen asleep.
In a final moment of kinship and implicit understanding, Nakata carries out his final promise to Miss Saeki. Hoshino, too, feels a strong sense of connection to Nakata, because Nakata has changed his perspective and introduced him to new experiences. These are two different ways of connecting with others—either because of shared similarities, as in Nakata and Miss Saeki’s relationship, or because of the meeting of two very different perspectives, as in the case of Nakata and Hoshino.
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Hoshino carries Nakata up to the apartment, thinking Nakata is settling in for a long nap. Instead, Nakata dies in his sleep the next day. Hoshino feels overwhelmed by the silence in the apartment. He realizes he has to close the entrance stone by himself now. If he makes a mistake, it could have dire consequences. Unsure what to do, Hoshino spends the rest of the day pacing in the apartment, waiting for a sign that the time has come to close the entrance.
Nakata’s sudden departure is a huge blow to Hoshino. Hoshino realizes that he has come to rely on Nakata, and feels extremely unsettled in his absence, even though a few days earlier they were strangers and Hoshino was perfectly confident on his own.
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