Manusya, Journal of Humanities

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This essay aims to explore the issue of identity quest of various characters in Haruki Murakami's "Kafka on the Shore." While Hoshino is portrayed as an alienated city-dweller, whose identity formation depends on superficial signs produced in consumer society, Satoru Nakata's identity is noted for its marginalized position as he is unable to make sense of capitalist logic. His viewpoint reveals a hidden side of capitalist society that glorifies such superficial consumption of empty signs in the process of identity construction. In contrast to Hoshino and Nakata, Murakami's portrayal of Kafka Tamura suggests a solution to identity quest when Kafka is able to stabilize his shattered identity through redefinition of memories and reflections.

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