Consumerism and the Possibility of an Authentic Self in Haruki Murakami’s Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World

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Author: Burcu Genç, University of Tokyo, Japan
Email: burcu.gnc@gmail.com
Published: November 2015
https://doi.org/10.22492/ijl.4.1.06

Citation: Genç, B. (2015). Consumerism and the Possibility of an Authentic Self in Haruki Murakami’s Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World. IAFOR Journal of Literature & Librarianship, 4(1). https://doi.org/10.22492/ijl.4.1.06


Abstract

With reference to Jean Baudrillard’s theory of consumerism embedded in his scrutiny of power, this paper investigates the possibilities of an authentic self in Haruki Murakami’s novel Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World within the context of Japanese consumerism in the 1970s and early 1980s. By alluding to the Baudrillardian discourse, I argue that the protagonist’s choice to abandon his shadow at the very end of the novel is closely linked with his attempt to find an authentic self: in other words, an attempt to liberate himself from the power consumerism exerts on him.

Keywords

contemporary Japanese literature, Haruki Murakami, consumerism, Japanese society, Jean Baudrillard, power