What is the tone of Memoirs of a Geisha ?

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amymc | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

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Memoirs of a Geisha is written in the first person point of view from the perspective of a young girl who grows up as a Geisha in Kyoto, Japan.  As the girl ages, the tone changes.  When she is a child, first snatched from her village, the tone is one of childish confusion and fear.  As the narrator grows, the tone becomes more knowing and even resigned in nature.  When the narrator meets the chairman as a grown woman, the tone wavers a bit from the detached woman to a hopeful and delighted tone, but this is toward the end of the novel.  The purpose of the detached tone is to show how the women forced into servitude attempted to separate their inner selves from their outer selves, to accept their actions but not allow those actions to become who they are.  This was their way of clinging to sanity and even hope.