In the story "Thailand" by Haruki Murakami analyze how the scene at the pool reflects the central theme of the story.

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As one of the stories from the collection After the Quake, "Thailand" has as its main character Satsuki, a pathologist, who lives with a hardness of her heart, harboring hard resentment against her former husband to the point of wishing an earthquake would take his life.

After flying to Bangkok for a professional conference, Satsuki has planned a vacation at a luxury hotel. But, since the hotel pool is crowded, her limousine driver called "Nimit" takes her to a larger pool where Satsuki can swim alone for as long as she wants.

The rectangular stretch of water was beautiful, surrounded by lawn and trees, and undisturbed by swimmers. 8everal old wooden deck chairs were lined up beside the pool. 8ilence ruled the area and there was no hint of a human presence.

The central theme of Emptiness in Self is reflected here. Satsuki has quelled the spirit in herself and hardened herself against her former husband, hoping the earthquake has taken him. She has "thrown down the well" the child she has never had, and she does she allow herself to feel.  When Nimit plays the jazz in the car, she is reminded of her childhood in which she lived under the love of her father. He later takes her to see an old woman in the town of Kobe, from where her husband has come to remind her of him. This woman tells her that she will have a dream in which a snake will appear and she must allow it as a representative of her life to eat the stone of hatred so that she can pursue a life without hatred. So, on the night before her departure, Satsuki recognizes that she has a "hard white stone inside herself" and prepares to sleep and "wait for the dream to come."

Read the study guide:
After the Quake

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