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Mahum Kudia Commented [1]: Add page number for MLA

Commented [2]: Hi Mahum, your draft should be set
Mrs. Mann up for peer reviewers and for teacher feedback. I will
return to your draft tomorrow evening to check if you
have anything for me. If not, you'll miss out on
AP LiteratureBlock 2 feedback. :/
Commented [3]: https://docs.google.com/a/fcusd.org/p
10 November 2017 resentation/d/1LlLwcZo7cqCEpwovz72mU2zy4TZptuq
Is it a Classic? Commented [4]: Hi Mrs. Mann, I feel like I'm going the
wrong way with this essay, like my approach is all
That book is a classic! is a phrase commonly used for many books, but what does one wrong. How can I modify my thesis and ideas to match
the prompt, and to better explain whether its a classic
or not? Also, do you think my essay's scope is too
mean by a classic? For a book to be considered a classic--for it to be part of the literary canon- wide? (like I'm going way too in depth on the book, and
I should keep it simple?)
-it must meet several criteria. First and foremost, the book must have a timeless, universal theme Commented [5]: I do think that your scope is too wide.
Your topics are greatin your intro, as well as
throughout the essay, I see what you plan to argue. I
that reveals something about society. It must resonate with readers, have a deeper meaning that think exerting more control over your evidence and
approach toward it would be helpful. Maybe only giving
can be understood and interpreted by all, have an influential presence and impact on society, and one example instead of an overview of the whole novel
might help? You can always write it all, see how far
over the 8 page mark it isbecause I think it will be for
have literary elements that add to the meaning of the work. Finally, the book as a whole must sureand trim. I wish you luckyou can do it!
Commented [6]: PEER REVIEW STUFF
make readers think deeply and question their surroundings--only then can it be a classic. The Regina: I think the way my essay is organized is very
confusing, because right now it's kind of all over the ...
novel Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami is a classic because not only does it do all of Commented [7]: I don't really like my intro, first body
paragraph or thesis. Any suggestions?
these things, but it also does them in a way that makes the novel itself quite enjoyable. Commented [8]: What specific part do you want me to
look at
The single most important thing that makes a book a classic is its relevance and Commented [9]: response to topic, like do I answer
the prompt/question, is it persuasive, coherent etc.
Basically, do I do what I'm supposed to do?
timelessness. These concepts are apparent in Kafka on the Shore, as it explores the journey of
Commented [10]: I think there needs to be a hook
instead of just answering the prompt like you said
finding ones personal identitya timeless, relevant, and universal theme. Drawing heavily on
Commented [11]: Does my evidence and analysis
help prove that the book is a classic? Is it convincing
human experiences and emotions to create a deeper meaning that can be felt by all, the novel and does it flow?
Commented [12]: You have plenty of evidence and
explores the struggles of Kafka Tamura, a 15 year-old boy who runs away from home in order to thorough commentary, but I feel like you have to
change some of your analysis to the the idea of ...
escape an Oedipal prophecy, find his mother and sister, and hopefully find who he truly is, rather Commented [13]: alrighty. So listing isnt necessarily a
bad thing. But since you want to make it less listy, I
than what others want him to be. Kafka is further motivated by the fact that he doesnt have any would combine your ideas into like 2 or three, and then...
Formatted: Font: Not Italic
world to go back to. No ones ever really loved [him], or wanted [him], [his] entire life. [He] Commented [14]: I think the way my essay is
organized is very confusing. Any advice on how better
dont know who to count on other than [himself]. For [him], the idea of a life [he] left is to organize it so it flows better?
Commented [15]: I get a little lost right here. Could
you provide a little more context?
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meaningless (Murakami 324). His struggle with himself is driven by his desire to find meaning Commented [16]: Page number?
Commented [17]: I read it on an ebook which doesn't
and a feeling of belonging in his life, which are things he most definitely hasnt gotten from his really have page numbers, so I plan on finding a pdf
version to do that
father, who was either cruel to him, or never around. This cruelty is evident with the dark,

disturbing future he prophesied for Kafka: Someday you will murder your father and be with

your mother (Murakami 147). Kafkas home was filled with darkness and loneliness, and the Commented [18]: have to find the actual quote

lack of any real, meaningful, relationships, essentially stunted his emotional growth. As a result,

he is unable to move on, both because he doesnt want to, and also because he cant let go of his

painful childhood. Even though Kafka escaped his messed-up home, it was still affecting and Commented [19]: rephrase
Commented [20]: Yeah I'm not quite sure what you're
influencing him because he was unable to let it go. The memories, pain, and suffering stayed at trying to say here...Is unable to leave his home or is he
unable to let go of his past once he has left home?
the forefront of his mind, and so as much as he wanted to evade his fathers dark prophesy for Commented [21]: New paragraph here? Your stated
topic is relatability. If you pause here and argue that
many people share Kafka's feelings, you have argued
him, he ended up fulfilling it. This is simply because he doesnt know what it means to live your idea clearly. Now you're shifting to a different
aspectI think it's going to be about authorial design.
(Murakami 327). If all somebody knows is pain and loneliness, it is very difficult for them to Commented [22]: colloquialism - consider revising
Commented [23]: redundant from earlier
heal from that and find a better way to live, especially if they are still holding on to problems

from the past. In the novel, Crow, Kafkas shadowy alter-ego, tells Kafka, Lift the burden from

your shoulders and live-not caught up in someone else's schemes, but as you. That's what you

want (Murakami 348). Crow is essentially guiding and pushing him towards moving on with

this advice. In the book, Magical Realism: Theory, History, Community, author Zamora argues

that The surreal and absurd world of Murakamis characters is a universal one, suggesting that

the problems of identity for contemporary Japan are ones shared throughout the modern world Commented [24]: Definitely could be more explicit that
this is a category for defining classic novels. Maybe too
much plot analysis and too little "how this makes it a
(473). Kafkas journey of self-discovery to find meaning and purpose in life is a universal one classic".

a journey that everyone takes at some point in their life, making this story relevant and relatable

to all those who read it. This idea of a struggle to come to terms with ones past, and to find

ones identity, meaning, and purpose in life, is a struggle that humanity has faced since the dawn
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of its creation, which makes this book relevant regardless of the time period. Kafka needs to

come to terms with his past and learn to accept his problems, fears, and insecuritiessomething

that everyone struggles with. He needs to learn to forgive himself, as well as those who

abandoned him, like his mother. Lastly, he needs to find his own place in the world. This classic,

relatable, and universal struggle to find oneself amid the influence of outside forces is what Commented [25]: In my opinion, I think it's good that
you have this commentary that ties it back to why this
novel is a classic. I guess what Andrew and Regina are
makes Kafka on the Shore a contender to be a classic. However, the fact that Kafka on the Shore trying to claim is that maybe you could very briefly
remind us what a classic is (tie it back to what you sid
has a message that is relatable, universal, and timeless, does not automatically make it a in the thesis); be a little more clear/elaborate.
Commented [26]: I agree with Camille. I would add a
classicmore is needed. sentence or two more about why a universal theme is
necessary for a classic, and I might include Murakami's
purpose as well
If theres one thing that all classics have, its complexity. This complexity is found in
Commented [27]: The one page mark is a good
barometer for paragraph length in your draft. Think
authorial design through the use of literary elements, which contribute a deeper meaning to the about how you can cut from this if you aren't going to
make it two paragraphs.
novel, and allow for its deeper interpretation. Murakami readily makes use of literary elements in Commented [28]: This was kind of slapped on half-
heartedly in my opinion. Could be better integrated to
better answer "Why is this a classic?"
Kafka on the Shore to add complexity and meaning. The central metaphor of the novel
Commented [29]: Elaborate
established by Murakami is that of a sandstorm, one with both mental and physical effects. Commented [30]: In my opinion, I think it's good that
you have this commentary that ties it back to why this
novel is a classic. I guess what Andrew and Regina are
Building the metaphor at the beginning of the book, Murakami establishes that fate is like a trying to claim is that maybe you could very briefly
remind us what a classic is (tie it back to what you sid
small sandstorm that keeps changing directions. You change direction but the sandstorm chases in the thesis); be a little more clear/elaborate.
Commented [31]: I agree with Camille. I would add a
you. You turn again, but the storm adjusts. Over and over you play this out, like some ominous sentence or two more about why a universal theme is
necessary for a classic, and I might include Murakami's
purpose as well
dance with death just before dawn (2). What makes this metaphor so complex is that it ties the
Commented [32]: Rereading this paragraph, this
portion here starts to get a little repetitive. You don't
meaning of the entire book together. This metaphor both illustrates how people cannot run from need to summarize everything you already said within
the same paragraph, so I would consider just cutting
this portion entirely
their fate, and foreshadows what happens when they do. No matter how much someone wants to
Commented [33]: I would change your claim to relate
specifically to Kafka on the Shore. As it stands now,
evade their fate, no matter how many times they change directions, the most they can do is you're setting up your paragraph to argue why
complexity makes a book a classic rather than why
delay it. Eventually, just like the sandstorm readjusts so it can continue chasing its target, fate Kafka on the Shore is a classic
Commented [34]: ... which makes this a classic?
will catch up to us. Later in the novel, Kafka tries to run from his fatehe tries to escape his Commented [35]: ?
Commented [36]: elaborate
Oedipal prophecy. However, it catches up with him, and he unwittingly ends up fulfilling it,
Commented [37]: combine these sentences?
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regardless of whether or not he wanted to. His other half, Nakata, ends up killing his father, and

he ends up sleeping with his mother and sister. This is because This storm is you. Something

inside of you. So all you can do is give in to it, step right inside the storm, closing your eyes and

plugging up your ears so the sand doesnt get in, and walk through it, step by step (Murakami

3). In other words, everyone has their own version of the sandstorm. Kafka, who symbolizes

humanity, cant escape the storm, which symbolizes fate, because its a part of him. The only

thing he can do is hunker down, fight through it and hope to survive, because it will be painful. It

is for precisely this reason that the metaphor of the sandstorm is so complex. Right at the Commented [38]: you've said this more than once, not
sure if you noticed
beginning, Murakami illustrates the entire plot of the book through the metaphorhowever, the Commented [39]: wait where

meaning is not understood until the end of the book. Towards the end of the book, readers begin

to understand the significance of the sandstorm, which is a metaphor for fateor in Kafkas

case, his prophesied destiny. Fate is a violent, metaphysical, symbolic storm that will cut

through flesh like a thousand razor blades. People will bleed there, and you will bleed too. When Commented [40]: Maybe it's just me, but it gets messy
and goes from one idea to another way to quickly at
this point.
you come out of the storm you wont be the same person who walked in. Thats what this

storms all about (Murakami 3). In other words, the storm is the futureeveryone is fated to

endure it, and its not going to be easyit will be painful and difficult. All one has to do is get

through it somehow, and survive. The only thing that matters is how one comes out of the storm-

-either changed for the better and stronger than ever, or weak and damaged, destroyed by the

might of the storm. That is the decision people must make. It is the decision that Kafka makes--

instead of letting himself be destroyed by the storm of his fate, he writes his own ending, a Commented [41]: is this body paragraph too much plot
and not enough prompt analysis?
better, happier ending, by accepting and then letting go of his painful past and moving forward

with his life. Essentially, our world and our life is what we make of it. As Murakami says in the

novel, The world is a metaphor (Murakami). Everyone finds different meanings in a metaphor-
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-similarly, everyone finds a different meaning in their life. The fact that Kafka on the Shore has

such a deep and powerful central metaphor only further supports the argument that it is a classic. Commented [42]: You don't know that this is about
"classics" until the last sentence. Be more direct in the
meat of the paragraph.
However, the fact that book is complex is still not enough to make it a classic.
Commented [43]: ok, will do
Every book that has been considered a classic is rich and insightful by design. In the Commented [44]: I think I understand what Andrew is
saying here. You definitely go into detail about the
important lessons and gems of the novel, just make
novel Kafka on the Shore, this rich and insightful nature is clearly evident by the authors style as sure you make it clear (by taking the time to provide
some commentary in between) how it makes the novel
he creates the story and structures the novel. The structure of the book is built so that every a classic
Commented [45]: Too much plot in this paragraph. I
chapter alternatesthe odd and even chapters are split between the two separate but connected agree with Andrew that you get to the prompt specific
stuff only at the end.

storylines of Kafka and his other half, Nakata. The divergent yet parallel development of the two Commented [46]: Consider varying your concluding

protagonists is a very sophisticated and complex way to order a book, and as previously Commented [47]: You have a lot of really great
examples and analysis in this paragraph, but--call me
crazy--there's too much. You end up sounding a bit
mentioned, complexity only adds to a novels merit as a classic. Furthermore, the book is part of repetitive. I know it's hard to do since you spent a long
time writing, but I would consider cutting a few places.
(Also I totally have the same problem so dw about it)
the postmodern genre, which is typically literature that relies on narrative techniques such as
Commented [48]: i hate my transitions, they're so
choppy and gross
paradoxes, unreliable narrators, and fragmentation. Within this genre, Murakami effectively uses
Commented [49]: Again, I would consider changing
your topic sentence here
magical realism as a device to further enrich the meaning of the bookwhich once again, only
Commented [50]: A little list-y...
adds to its merit as a classic. In the essay "The Question of the Other: Cultural Critiques of Commented [51]: A little list-y...
Commented [52]: I feel like you should introduce this
Magical Realism" the writer argues that a critical aspect of magical realism is the existence of guy earlier in your essay. I didn't even realize that there
was a second protagonist until now--almost the end of
the paper
an irreducible element that is unexplainable according to the laws of the universe as they have
Commented [53]: do you think I should make this the
first bp then?
been formulated by modern, post-enlightenment empiricism, with its heavy reliance on sensory

data, together with a preponderance of realistic event, character, and description that conform to

the conventions of literary realism (Faris). The word unexplainable is a very accurate way to

discuss the happenings of the book, as much of it is quite perplexing, especially when

considering that the book is written in a way that makes readers expect it to be realistic. Of

course, this confusion is no accidentMurakami most definitely intended to make his book

anomalous. The New Yorker describes Kafka on the Shore as being a real page-turner, as well
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as an insistently metaphysical mind-bender (Updike). This is apparent with the character

Nakata, who can talk to cats and make sardines and leeches rain from the sky, and the

complicated dream versus reality struggle that Kafka undergoes. This conflict between dream

and reality is an important aspect of magical realism, as One of magic realisms crucial

features is its duality, the provocative and unsettling tension between real and unreal. (Zamora

455). In the novel, Kafka struggles to comprehend whats real, and whats not. Murakami

purposefully and insightfully creates this confusion as a method of character development, as

most of Kafkas growth as a character is when hes in a dream-like state, or in a dreamscape--this

struggle that straddles both the real world and the dreamworld, is a part of the metaphorical

sandstorm of destiny that everyone must face at some point. The New Yorker echoes this idea

when in its Subconscious Tunnels article, it is mentioned that At the center of this particular

novelistic storm is the idea that our behavior in dreams can translate to live action; our dreams

can be conduits back into waking reality (Updike). In a classic book, everything serves a

purpose towards reaching and understanding the greater meaning behind a work. Murakamis

conscious decision to use magical realism in Kafka on the Shore enabled him to create a more

meaningful story, as it opened up many unique ways to explore and develop the character of

Kafka. The lessons and experiences Kafka gains from his extremely vivid and realistic dreams

seep into his real life, establishing that the subconscious has great power over ones conscious. In

the novel, Kafka holds onto his painful past within his subconscious--a past that surfaces in his

present actions. Once he deals with the problems buried in his subconscious by journeying into

the spirit forest, Kafka is finally able to find peace in the real world. The fact that Murakami

chose magical realism to create such a phenomenal struggle between the real and unreal is very

clearly complexity through authorial intent. If theres one thing thats evident, its that this book
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is definitely not simplistic and random. Like a classic, it is very concise and insightful within its

plot and structure. Commented [54]: I can tell

The last piece needed to finalize a books place within the ranks of a classic, is its lasting

influence and impact on the world. Kafka on the Shore, does precisely that--with its unique style

and references to pop culture and other literature, the novel has had a lasting impact on its

readers. Murakamis work has led to the rise of a Haruki culture, in which Haruki has become

the young generations common desire (Baik). Any book that is widely desired and liked by the

public has to be good. However, that is not the only reason why it has become so popular. The

Haruki phenomenon was created through satisfying the publics desire for something not

national but universal (Baik). In other words, having a meaningful, universal message is vital to

the success and popularity of any book. How successful and popular that book turns out to be

however, determines whether or not it is a classic. Kafka on the Shore has been nothing if not

successful--with readers and fans worldwide, from East Asia to the Americas, the novel has seen

international popularity and has been translated into dozens of languages.

All things considered, Kafka on the Shore is undoubtedly a classic--not only because it

fulfills all the requirements: a timeless, universal theme, complexity in its structure and style, and Commented [55]: smiplify
Commented [56]: very list-y...
deeper meaning, but because it is a good, thought-provoking, and meaningful book. It reiterates
Commented [57]: yeah... I can't think of any other way
to say it tho :/
the classic themes of accepting oneself, finding ones identity, and forgiving and coming to terms
Commented [58]: Through a first read, my main
takeaway is that you're referencing the book too much
with ones past. Furthermore, the novel is groundbreaking as a postmodern book with magical and doing too much analysis on the book and not on
why that makes it a classic. Will read again for more
surrealism, as it is one of the most influential books of its kind. A book with such a deep, specific comments.
Commented [59]: I had this same thought -
meaningful, and relatable message about human nature portrayed in such a beautiful way can be It's good to have supporting evidence but it feels like
it's missing analysis and needs more outside sources.

nothing if not a classic. Commented [60]: Yeah reading through it, I

completely agree with you guys. I'm planning on
rearranging it a little bit and adding more material
Commented [61]: Sorry dude I gotta go :( Mostly I
agree with Andrew's comments--try to rely less on plot-
based explanation. Good luck!
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Works Cited

Baik, Jiwoon. "Murakami Haruki and the Historical Memory of East Asia." Inter-Asia

Cultural Studies, (vol. 11, no. 1), Inha University, Mar. 2010, pp. 64-72. EBSCOhost,





This article written by research professor Jiwoon Baik in the Inter-Asia Cultural

Studies, an academic journal published through the Inha University, discusses the

impact of the Haruki Phenomenon--especially in East Asia. Baik elaborates on

Harukis groundbreaking work, explaining how it filled a gap in the literary

canon, ushering in a new type of literature: one that transcended cultural

boundaries and sensitivities. She argues that the overarching theme of Harukis

works is reconciliation with the past through nostalgia--specifically by healing the

60s Complex caused by WWII. Baik explains that Haruki created his works to

help the Sixties Kids of Japan--people like himself. The source really

emphasizes the overarching purpose of Kafka on the Shore--reconciliation and

dealing with the past. Baiks article operates under the assumption that her

audience is familiar with the works and style of Haruki, and so any plot-level

descriptions of his books are barely present. The author appears very supportive

of Harukis works, and therefore may be biased towards him. This source is

extremely helpful to me because it explicitly gives me the impact of the work,

which is something I have been looking for to prove that Kafka on the Shore is a
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classic. I will use this source to discuss the overall meaning and universal theme

of the work.

Faris, Wendy. "The Question of the Other: Cultural Critiques of Magical Realism."

Janus Head, (Vol. 5, No. 2), 2002, 101-119, http://www.janushead.org/5-2/faris.pdf.

This source is an article written by Wendy Faris, from the Janus Head, a scholarly

journal. This source explains what exactly constitutes magical realism: something

that cant be explained according to the laws of the universe, as well as the

presence and prevalence of magical realism in postmodern texts, such as Kafka on

the Shore. In her article, Faris is trying to explain to audiences the phenomenon of

magical realism in modern literature. The source really focuses on getting

audiences to understand the phenomenon, the whole concept of magical realism,

as well as how its been used in more current works of literature. She does a

pretty good job of balancing the analysis with other sources of information, giving

a balanced viewpoint on the topic. This source was fairly helpful, as it does a

good job with explaining the whole concept and presence of magical realism,

which is a vital part of Kafka on the Shore, and so understanding it will help me

better understand the book. Having more understanding would enable me to more

effectively argue my case of whether or not the book should be considered a


Murakami, Haruki. Kafka on the Shore. Vintage International, 2006.

Updike, John. Subconscious Tunnels. The New Yorker, 24 January 2005,


Zamora, Lois, and Wendy Faris, editors. Magical Realism: Theory, History, Community.
Duke Press, 1995,
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