Who is more willing to continue the marriage in Tanizaki's Naomi, Jōji or Naomi, and why?

Quick answer:

In the end, Naomi is less willing to continue the union and Joji is more willing.

Expert Answers

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There is only one point in the story wherein the willingness to continue the marriage becomes dramatically one-sided. That is when Joji learns of Naomi's infidelity. After having his world shattered and learning that Naomi is manipulating him and engaging sexually with all manner of other men, Joji cannot bring himself to carry on the marriage anymore. Naomi might be more willing to continue the marriage at that point, because though she seems to be completely uncaring for Joji in terms of emotional connection, she has become fond of his unflinching obedience and willingness to give her whatever she wants.

By the end of the story, both are willing to continue the marriage for completely opposite and equally horrifying reasons. Joji is willing to have Naomi in his home--despite her complete disregard for him and her insistence that they live only as friends --because he has become completely obsessed with her. Naomi is willing to continue the domestic partnership because she has realized that she can manipulate Joji into giving her whatever she wants. She has made him her psychological slave, to the point that Joji will bankrupt himself and his entire family to meet her most trivial of whims.

It could be said that, at the end, Naomi seems to be less willing. However, this is only a bluff to make Joji give up more of his life for her under the condition that she come back. She attempts to make the relationship as one-sided as possible before she finally relents.

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