A Pale View of Hills

by Kazuo Ishiguro
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Last Updated on May 7, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 124

Etsuko, as narrator, is the most prominent character in A Pale View of Hills, but she is hardly the most dramatic, and we know little about her except for the story of her life. More strongly delineated are Sachiko and Mariko. Sachiko has rejected the traditional Japanese role of women, refusing to return to live with her uncle and scheming to take Mariko away to America. "Japan is no place for a girl," she tells Etsuko.

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Etsuko's first husband Jiro is a new Japanese type, a corporate warrior. He seems emotionless, and treats his father, Ogata, with thinly-veiled contempt. While Etsuko tells others she is happy with Jiro, it is not difficult to see why she might wish to leave their emotionally dead relationship.

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