He-y, Come On Ou-t!

by Shinichi Hoshi

Start Free Trial

What does the hole symbolize in "He-y, Come On Ou-t!"?

Quick answer:

The hole symbolizes the world and humanity's relationship with it. It symbolizes the earth in that it was caused by a typhoon and was used as a dumpsite (like how humans are treating the earth). The hole is also meant to represent how mankind has been affecting the world around them, such as through pollution and climate change.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The hole in the story is symbolic in several ways. For one, it acts as a microcosm to represent the town and the world itself they live in. The villagers don’t understand the depth of the hole and can’t figure it out properly, so they start using it as a...

See
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Get 48 Hours Free Access

dumping ground. Ironically, the hole came about as a result of a typhoon, which scientifically have been increasing in number due to the hazardous actions of mankind. So, essentially, the hole is the world, which they are tarnishing and destroying. This is hit upon later in the novel when several instances occur that are reminiscent of what happened to the hole (the voice calling out the titular words and the pebble being dropped in).

In this way, it is also a warning sign. As the events wrap around into the end of the story, it shows that human actions have consequences that will have to be dealt with. The story is almost cyclical, as it ends with events from earlier on, implying that, like before, the actions would be causing more of the destructive events from the beginning of the story, like a typhoon.

Approved by eNotes Editorial
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

After a typhoon, villagers discover a hole where a shrine once stood. The hole is deep and is approximately one meter wide. The villagers attempt to discover the depth of the hole, but their efforts are unsuccessful. One villager shouts, "He-y come on ou-t!" into the hole. However, there is no echo. Another villager, although warned by an older man, throws a pebble into the hole. A concessionaire, or businessman, proposes a use for the hole. He suggests that the hole may be used to get rid of any unwanted objects or materials. Soon, hazardous materials, dead animals, and other unwanted objects are thrown into the hole.

Near the end of the story, a man on a tall building admires the city. He hears a voice shout, "He-y come on ou-t!" Next, a small pebble passes nearby. The man, however, does not notice.

In the story, the hole symbolizes a sort of quick fix for the problems faced by the people. The villagers use the hole to dispose of dangerous substances. Since there are no immediate consequences, they continue to do so. The hole serves as a reminder that actions taken today may have future implications.

Approved by eNotes Editorial