One of the most striking features about life is that it presents everyone with an opportunity to find their true love. It is however apparent that in the search for ones true love, most people miss the big picture of loving those who truly love them. They tend to focus on an illusionary chase for the perfect love only to get distracted by the aspect of commonality and fall for the wrong person. It is therefore advisable that people learn to appreciate those who truly love them and not fall to the distractions that come along the way. Different authors have dealt with the theme of true friendship and love, but none has immensely covered in a subtle yet clear manner as Yasunari Kabawata in his short story The Grasshopper and the Bell Cricket. It is a story that underpins the fact that most people miss out on their true love because of the many distractions that come along their way thus making them miss on that special person who truly loves them.
While writing the story from the perspective of an observant narrator, Kabawata depicts the theme of true love and friendship by using the case of a group of children on an insect hunt game. The game symbolically serves to amplify the theme of true love and friendship by offering lessons that widely apply in the case of how people fail to realize and appreciate those who truly love them and fall for distractions while in their pursuit for true love. This can be seen in the case of Fujios gesture of offering a grasshopper to Kiyoko. In offering to give the grasshopper to Kiyoko, Fujio is unaware of the fact that it was a bell cricket; so rare to find and love for its ability to sing beautifully. It is only after realizing that it was a bell cricket that one can see the glow in Kiyokos face. The quote below serves to show how people miss out on the big picture of love and friendship:
Oh! Its not a grasshopper. Its a bell cricket. The girls eyes shone as she looked at the small brown insect (Kabwata 3).
Kabawata points at the innocence in Fujio and Kiyokos love and friendship especially in the manner in which they are completely unaware of the special and affectionate feelings they had for each other. It is due to the distractions of missing the big picture that makes them realize only after some times that the grasshopper was actually a bell cricket. This is the case with most people in their pursuit for true love. They tend to get lost in the ordinary and fail to miss on the special moments they have with their friends and loved ones as seen in the case of Fujio and Kiyoko.
According to Kabawata in his depiction of the theme of true love and friendship, most people get distracted with so many things in their lives that make them fail to see the signals of love in their partners. It is even problematic when both individuals fail to realize the signal as this leads to a case of missed opportunity to remind each other of how they love each other. For instance, when Fujio offered the bell cricket to Kiyoko, the narrator is able to clearly see the beautiful pattern of Fujios name in Kiyokos breast. Her name is also easily discernible in Fujios wrist. Just like with many people, the two are completely oblivious of this special moment in their lives much to the chagrin of the narrator. If only people took time to focus on the little things and signals that serve to amplify their lives, then the pursuit of true love would not be much a daunting task as it was in the case of Fujio and Kiyoko.
True love and friendship is a misconstrued concept in the modern society. People tend to focus on the material aspect and forget the underlying emotions that come with symbols such as gifts. It is this much focus on the materialistic concept of love and friendship that makes people remember and take much pride in gifts but fail to notice or realize the affection and emotional feelings attached to them. For instance, Kabawata in his explanation of the theme of love and friendship uses the narrators description of the fact that Kiyoko and Fujio would easily remember the cricket incident but none would remember the inscription of the names in the wrist and breast. The quote below serves to explain the misconstruction in the meaning of love:
Even if they remembered forever that Fujio had given her the cricket and that Kiyoko had accepted it, not even in dreams would Fujio ever know that his name had been written in green on Kiyokos breast or that Kiyokos name had been inscribed in red on his waist, nor would Kiyoko ever know that Fujios name had been inscribed in green on her breast or that her own name had been written in red on Fujios waist (Kabwata 4).
The quote thus shows that love and friendship has lost meaning in the modern society as can be seen in the case of the two children.
Failure to utilize the special moments in life and appreciate loved ones often leads to regrets in the future. It is for this reason that most people end up with people who are not their soul mates and hence the regrets. This can be seen in the story where the narrator offers some advice to Fujio on how people miss out on their loved ones as can be seen in the quote below:
Fujio! Even if you have the wit to look by yourself in a bush away from the other children, there are not many bell crickets in the world. Probably you will find a girl like a grasshopper whom you think is a bell cricket (Kabwata 4).
According to the narrator, missing out the moment has the impact of making Fujio end up with the wrong person other than her true friend and love; Kiyoko.
It is thus evident that love and friendship should be valued and not taken for granted. This can be enhanced by taking time to appreciate anything done to us out of affection. Failure to do that might only complicate our pursuit of true love as there are many distractions that might come along hence leading to regrets.
KAWABATA, Y. "'GRASSHOPPER AND THE BELL CRICKET'." (1979): 1-5.
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