Personal Narrative Essay about Losing Your Sister

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In reading “The Wind Cave” by Haruki Murakami, readers can visualize characters and their unique personalities through Murakami’s distinct writing style. As he writes, Murakami uses clear and simple ways to understand the story easier. His melancholy writing style shows that each character, despite their intense feelings, is in control of his or her feelings and conscience. The protagonist, who remains unnamed, recalls some memories of his little sister. The time they visit the cave together evokes many emotions such as pain and fear. He comes off as composed, even in the way he describes each memory. In “The Wind Cave,” readers can look back on the narrator’s past and feel his sense of grief through Murakami’s unique writing style and imagery.

One of the most prevalent ways for a reader to understand the emotion in a story is through the author’s writing style. His varied use of long and short sentences keeps the story flowing and engages the reader. Murakami’s somber descriptions and self-reflection in the narrator throughout the story. Even after losing his sister, the protagonist is still calm. For example, while at his sister’s funeral, he says she looks peaceful sleeping, “shaking her lightly and she’d wake up, it seemed. But that was all an illusion” (94). He never tries to shake her, but rather he accepts the fact that she is dead no matter how much he does not want her to be. While beautiful and descriptive imagery is used to describe different parts of events throughout the rest of the story, this remains simple and clear to the reader. Murakami does not try to hide the sister’s death in confusing, lyrical sentences, rather he puts it in simple terms for the reader with clear sentence structures.

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In addition to Murakami’s short-story style, imagery deals with the protagonist’s grief and readers end up knowing more about the character. Ultimately, the goal of short stories should focus on leaving the reader with a glimpse of the life of the main character, then leaving them wondering what happens next. In just a short amount of time, the protagonist found himself focused on his sister even more by making sure she was happy. “Two years later, death crawled out of that cave to grab my sister’s soul” (100). The author uses imagery such as this to convey to the reader the feeling of sudden death. While this does not accurately happen in real life, it can still be illustrated as death conquering life. Murakami explains through each character his experiences as he writes. Using strong imagery helps create a connection to memories and ideas that enhance what Murakami is trying to portray. Everything is described in detail, from the color of his little sister’s shoes to the ability of vast space to suck out the sound. “The raw smell of wildflowers would fill the air, pollen swirling. When night fell, the sky above her would be dotted with countless silvery stars” (94). These sentences instantly make the reader feel like they are a part of the story through Murakami’s writing and imagery.

Moreover, as readers, we can understand more of the main character and the way he is described. He feels as though when his sister, Komi, was alive he did not do anything for her. He regrets never being there for her, yet his actions show how he took care of her, like when he “tied her disheveled hair” after she climbed out of the cave (99). It is revealed Komi looks up to her big brother by the way she holds hands with him while they go into the cave. The protagonist seems to not think much of her, but a few instances show they had a good relationship.

Although the protagonist kicks himself for not giving his sister enough attention while she was alive, he “. . . often tried to imagine what sort of life [his] sister would have had if she hadn’t died at twelve” (95). In reality, he did all he could to protect her by watching her at school, eating breakfast together, and reading “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.” As readers, we can see he was constantly thinking about her through introspection. The narrator takes time to reflect on his past and uses specific details to recall certain feelings. Without these deep feelings, the reader would not feel the sense of grief as he does through looking inside himself. Presenting these palpable feelings allows the reader to relate and reflect on their own lives.

Another significant part that showed his character was the conversation about “Alice in Wonderland.” While he does not share the same view, Komi believes the characters are real until the end of the story. In the end, he finally admits to realizing they were real after all these years. However, Komi thought of them as a sign of joy, but he saw them as death. They were the characters that took his little sister into that dark hole. Murakami uses his writing style to communicate the confusion of grief and sorrow at the time of Komi’s death. Later, he develops claustrophobia and compares it to his sister’s body lying in her coffin, saying “. . . I haven’t been able to go into tight, enclosed places” (96). The narrator tries to rationalize life while going through the motions that now has a missing piece.

As a writer, Murakami does a good job of mixing an intricate and sorrowful story. Readers can imagine the narrator and his sister and their personalities through imagery and Murakami’s distinct writing style. Each of these elements plays an important role in telling the story of losing his sister, his feelings, and his navigation through life. His melancholy writing is a way that is easy and clear to understand. It shows each character has control of their feelings, despite their intensity. Readers can look back on the protagonist’s past and feel his sense of grief through Murakami’s unique writing style and imagery in “The Wind Cave”.

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Personal Narrative Essay about Losing Your Sister. (2024, February 09). Edubirdie. Retrieved July 14, 2024, from
“Personal Narrative Essay about Losing Your Sister.” Edubirdie, 09 Feb. 2024,
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