The past plays an important role in understanding the present and in planning for the future. This kind of adage might indeed be useful in comprehending the importance of history or past events in the lives of people. However, this kind of thinking fails to realize that sometimes the past tends to conflict with the future. The concept of generational gap is often observable in most societies, especially in the situation of parents and their children wherein their different and conflicting beliefs and practices are often time become the cause of misunderstanding. The difference between the past and the present is substantially discussed in Endo Shusaku’s “When I Whistle”. He explored the differences of beliefs and norms during the pre-war Japan as compared with the contemporary one. In doing so, he was able to identify the distinctness of these two different worlds but at the end, was able to manage to see a convergence between the past and the present.
In the process of introducing and presenting Japanese generational differences, Endo Shusaku successfully used the literary element of humor in order to make his readers see the distinctness of two generations. In his book, humor was clearly seen in the dialogues of Ozu and Eichi. The relationship between these two characters, who are father and son, show the differences in the generation that they are in. Humor was seen on how each character tend to contradict the belief and practice of the other, especially since the two of them are from different generations. Eichi pursues his ambitious desires as well as his materialistic wants while Ozu is caught in a simpler and more humane time. The rivalries between the ideas of these two characters were presented in humor, which allow the reader to appreciate it more and actually enable them to relate with the story because such incidents also happen in a normal parent-children relationship. The exchange of dialogue between these two characters also paved the way for each of them to hear and see the side of the other, which actually help in establishing a common ground between the past and the present.
A literary feature that was used by Shusaku Endo was symbolism. The author utilized different types of symbols in terms of the state of the variety of scenes presented. Moreover, the very first chapter insinuates that the character of Flat Fish was still a little boy who did not care at all. Given that he was only a simple youth, who was innocent of things that are happening in this current environment. Moreover, the development of his character was enveloped with different kinds of individuals who are symbolism of various types of people in the real world. Looking back at the different characters present, it is very clear that there are people in the real world who would take advantage as well as mistreat other people due to his or her uniqueness.
In this situation, Flatfish was often misjudged due to his looks, features, as well as his smell. Although this is the case, the author presents this in a very funny literary style through the images provided. The images is provided through a very descriptive point of view where in the readers could immediately imagine the aspects of how Flatfish would be in reality. Moreover, one of the best examples which are utilized by the author is the name of the character which is vividly weird, interesting and funny.
The progress of the character is honed by the experiences which is presented in different situations he was involved. Moreover, the challenges that are shown in the whole book are greatly provided by different types of images through a very descriptive viewpoint. In addition to this, a descriptive nature of the book is much enticing than any book which is often utilizing complicated types of literary style.
In conclusion, the author did a very great work in this book. He only utilized simple concepts yet he was able to bring out the best in the characters. Flatfish is a person who was unique and sometimes disgustingly funny because of his disgusting attributes as a person. His carefree nature also became a very funny concept that people could also relate. Reflecting on the book, the characters seem to be a breath of fresh air for individuals who had been reading very serious and confusing books. I personally advice this book to individuals who simply want to relax and have a good laugh in the morning or after a very stressful day. Therefore, this book is not only a literary art piece but also an enjoyable read for many.