Shizuko's Daughter

by Kyoko Mori

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What would be the climax in Shizuko's Daughter?

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The climax is the turning point in a story that usually occurs just before we know the outcome of the main conflict. The main conflict in this story is the struggle of the women in Japanese society to accept the rules and restrictions on their lives. We see this in Shizuko's suicide and Yuki being restricted from her mother's family after her suicide. Yuki is supposed to just get over her mother's death and go on with her life. Her father and stepmother give her no time to grieve. Plus, her stepmother is resentful of Shizuko and Yuki and tries to erase any memory of Yuki's mother. Yuki is still angry when she goes away to school.

The turning point for Yuki is when she begins to draw the clothes her mother had made her. Then as more of her memories came flooding back, Yuki drew the tea set, and the glazed plates and pottery that Hanae threw away. Yuki uses her art to be able to heal from the pain of her mother's death and how her father had behaved afterward. Her art leads Yuki to the past as a "tool of remembrance", but it "also points a way forward, toward reconciliation with the world." Yuki is able to go on with her life by developing a relationship with her grandparents and allowing a young man to come into her life. Yuki is able to break free of the restrictions that her mother could not.

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