In his short story, “The Grasshopper and the Bell Cricket,” Yasunari Kawabata shares words of wisdom through the eyes of the narrator. Kawabata presents the narrator as someone who is on the outside looking in. However, his words are a key element to the story because they reflect valuable lessons that the children may need for future reference. The narrator wants to save the children from heartache and disappointment, however he fails to realize that all children must experience these emotions for themselves in order to become mature.
As the narrator stares into the lives of the children, it seems as though he is reliving his own life. His comments give the impression that he once made wrong decisions based on immaturity and therefore the children should not follow the same path. As a result, the narrator makes comments (unknown to the children) that gives a warning on what he sees from the outside.
Since the children display youth and ignorance, it should not make sense that the narrator understands the children’s actions. Because of Fujio and Kiyoko’s age, the way of handling the grasshopper and the bellcricket took a different perspective then the narrator. When Fujio announced he found a grasshopper and asked who wanted it, he purposely waited for Kiyoko to ask for it. “Oh, I thought. I felt slightly jealous of the boy, and sheepish. How silly of me not to have understood his actions until now,” (63) said the narrator. Fujio did that deliberately to get a closer look at Kiyoko.
... a year at Christmas, and the first time the narrator meets the children, she is surprised at their well-mannered behaviour. She ... see when one reads the description of the narrator's thoughts about Sarah's children. She is surprised at how well they ... handkerchief is actually the first thing the narrator has ever done to help Sarah's children. It is not until that point ...
Through experience, the narrator has learned better and therefore there is no reason he would understand Fujio’s actions, unless he experienced the same.
As the story continues, the audience recognizes there is a connection between the grasshopper and the bell cricket. Compared to everyday life, some things are ordinary and there are some that are special. Another one of the narrator’s warnings is introduced as the children are concerned over the grasshopper and the bell cricket. The grasshopper represents something ordinary while the bell cricket represents something that is special. Although the whole time Fujio thought he had something ordinary, he soon discovers he had something quite special. Although the narrator’s words were correct this was something Fujio needed to experience in order to understand.
As the narrator observes from afar, he speaks from his own experience as though preparing the children for a sight they may not see because of their youth. The narrator goes on to explain that they may have had what they were looking for the whole time. “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” (64).
The narrator warns these children so they would not be disappointed, but acknowledges that it is something they must learn through experience.
At the end of the story the narrator’s comments refer to the children setting themselves up for failure, however gives a final warning on what to look out for. “And finally, to your clouded, wounded heart, even a true bell cricket will seem like a grasshopper.
Should that day come, when it seems to you that the world is only full of grasshoppers, I will think it a pity that you have no way to remember tonight’s play of light” (64).
The narrator’s words of wisdom are his warning to the children, not to take anything for granted. If the children take certain situations for granted, they may miss a great opportunity that was in front of them the whole time. Even though the narrator tries to save the children from heartache, they must learn to live their life, and the only way to do that is to live and learn.
... or pre – school 2 – 3 Many children’s first experience of being in group care is at around ... or an after school club; in addition, many children will attend holiday play schemes. Starting secondary school ... provision and holiday play schemes 4 + Some children once they are at school will have an extended ... At the end of each school year, most children will change teacher as they change class. Attending ...
Kawabata. Yasunari, “The Grasshopper and the Bell Cricket.” Trans. Lane Dunlap. Sudden Fiction Internationl:60 Short Short Stories. Eds. Robert Shapard and James Thomas. New York: Norton, 1989. 60-64.