In a Grove

by Ryūnosuke Niihara

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What is the in-depth analysis and summary of "In a Grove" by Ryunosuke Niihara? In our Literature class, we discuss the story by "close reading." I looked into your summary, theme, and style of the story "In a Grove," and your explanation was not the same with my professor's. I really need an in depth analysis with the method of "close reading" so I can recite in class. Ever since, I struggled interpreting literature. I hope you can give me a great summary. This is actually more of a request than a summary.

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I had a look at the enotes summary myself and believe it to be a competent discussion of the story. Close reading would require you to consider some of the ideas discussed in the enotes summary and apply them to the actual story. For example, as the summary points out, the story unfolds from the point of view of different characters. If you examine each character carefully and consider his or her background, you can gain some insight into how and why each character perceives things in a particular way. Ask what motivates each of these characters.  Why does the mother-in-law make a point of discussing what a "good" girl her daughter is?  Why does the priest make a point of mentioning that he was not interested in the appearance of a woman?  Why does the "victim" want to be seen as having killed himself?  Why does the bandit want to be seen as having killed the victim? If you read closely what each of these characters has to say and combine that with some insight into each character's background and motivation, you will have plenty to talk about.  Another aspect of close reading that you might want to think about is how the story unfolds. What are the author's strategies in presenting his story?  Does he introduce all of the characters at once? Does he start with a complex scene or a simple scene? Does the action of the story build from the beginning? What kind of scene does the author end the story with? Is there any symmetry to how the author constructs the story? This is a story that is rich and complex and well worth a close reading for examination of plot, character, structure, and setting.

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