The Summer After the War by Ishiguru: My Review

‘What an awful thing war is, Ichiro,’ he said, tiredly. ‘An awful thing.”

- From the Text.

This story sheds light on cognitive dissonance from conf l ict between pre-war and postwar values that had changed. The grandfather Oji was a painter, who used to work for war propaganda but both grandparents of Ichiro seem reluctant now to show the artwork of Oji to Ichiro.

Oji also aff i rms that war is such an awful thing. Throughout the story, cognitive dissonance is vibrant in all dialogues and actions. This story is an exact depiction of Tolstoy and Goldman’s analysis.

The blind side of patriotism which leads to oppression has been focus of modern literature.

Leo Tolstoy once said, “Patriotism is the principle that will justify the training of wholesale murderers.” Emma Goldman said “We hate bloodshed; we are opposed to violence. Yet we go into spasms of joy over the possibility of projecting dynamite bombs from fl ying machines upon helpless citizens. We are ready to hang, electrocute, or lynch anyone, who, from economic necessity, will risk his own life in the attempt upon that of some industrial magnate. Yet our hearts swell with pride at the thought that America is becoming the most powerful nation on earth, and that it will eventually plant its iron foot on the necks of all other nations. Such is the logic of patriotism.” (Goldman)

The war is such an awful thing because it is in the interest of the people who rule and against the working class. It is well known by researchers in the war economy that private companies prof i t from billions of dollars through wars. Wars are businesses (Calio)

  • Topics I explored through this story.
    • Wars are businesses.
    • Cognitive Dissonance
    • Propaganda is a strong tool to manipulate and negate reason and research.

      References:
      - Goldman, Emma. Patriotism: a menace to liberty. Vol. 1. Library of Alexandria, 2020
      - Calio, Vince, and Alexander Hess. "Here are the 5 companies making a killing off wars around the world." Time Magazine 14 (2014).

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