Kafka on the Shore


Haruki Murakami

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Kafka on the Shore: The Boy Named Crow (2) Summary & Analysis

The boy named Crow circles over the trees, landing in a clearing across from a man dressed in a red sweat suit and a silk hat. The man tells crow that he makes flutes out of the souls of cats, and he’s traveling to where he can make the biggest flute of all. He says that the forest where they are now is like limbo: the man has died and is now a soul in transition. It’s impossible for Crow to hurt him, he says, but invites Crow to try. Crow pecks out the man’s eyes, but he just laughs. Crow rips out his tongue, and he continues to laugh, now soundlessly. The wheezing sounds almost like a flute.
In this extremely surreal chapter, Kafka’s alter ego, Crow, takes on a man who resembles Johnnie Walker, who seems to be an alter ego of Kafka’s father Koichi. In this way, the scene suggests that Kafka’s subconscious desire to kill his father is being realized (just as the prophecy predicted). It also represents an important step in Kafka’s attempt to free himself from his past and the uncomfortable bonds of his family, because the looming figure of his evil father is vanquished.
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