He-y, Come On Ou-t!

by Shinichi Hoshi

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What is the main symbol in "He-y, Come On Ou-t"?

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The main symbol in "He-y Come Ou-t" by Shinichi Hoshi is the hole. It represents thoughtless disposal. When the people of the village realize that the hole goes deep and that items thrown into it disappear (such as the pebble that the teenager throws in), they begin to throw all of their unwanted items into it. Some of these unwanted items are literal waste that could seriously contaminate the environment, such as the “nuclear waste” that the government allows to be dumped into the hole. The “lead boxes” that trucks dump into the hole and the “contagious animals” could be similarly dangerous to the health of the environment, and ultimately, the health of the villagers. The ecological problems of waste and pollution are being temporarily resolved by throwing items away in the hole, and some people make a profit from this technique of waste removal.

The hole is a temporary solution to a long term problem. When the pebble that the teenager threw at the beginning of the story falls from the sky, it becomes clear that there will be consequences for the thoughtless wastefulness and short-sightedness of the villagers. If the pebble was thrown in first, and was the first to fall, then everything else will figuratively come down on the village, destroying it.

So much for an ecological reading of the symbolism of the hole: What about the other types of unwanted items thrown in there, such as the “classified documents” and “discarded old diaries?” The story is saying that just as putting waste on landfills or in the ocean are solutions that simply postpone and create more problems later on down the line, so burying secrets, such as government corruption or the truth about past love interests, can cause damage later on. Government corruption will ultimately be exposed, just as new lovers will eventually find out about old lovers.

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The hole symbolizes a so-called easy solution for a big problem. The hole initially brings prosperity and wealth to those who use it to dispose of unwanted materials and use it to make money by charging others to dump their waste into it. It seems to clean up the city and create a place where they are not worried about all of the dangerous waste they create because they have a place to put it where it just disappears. However, the hole is not the solution that the people believe it to be, because it ends up literally just dumping the problem back on the people's heads. The hole symbolizes the people's ignorance as well, just as the hole is this big dark gaping space that goes on seemingly forever, the people are also in the dark and cannot see what their destruction of the earth will eventually do to them. They cannot see to the end of the hole, and they do not fully understand it, yet they try to use it for their own gain anyway. The hole is not a solution, it just is. It is almost like a mobius strip of sorts, cycling around again. It teaches the reader that every action has a consequence, and everything comes around again in some way. 

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