Marxism in The Thirteenth Night

In the short story, The Thirteenth Night, by Higuchi Ichiyo, a young woman, Oseki, is troubled in her marriage to an abusive husband named Isamu. However, she does not have the power to decide whether or not to divorce him independently. Her parents are concerned about the well-being of her brother, who is now employed by Isamu, which means that a divorce would affect his job and supplement the family income.

One of the things that Oseki learns from her run-in with Roku is that every person has their share of sadness or grief, based on their context or circumstances. Not everyone gets to fulfill their original wishes in life. Nevertheless, she discovers that Roku has always been in love with her, which is also the primary reason for his financial downfall since he discovered that Oseki was never going to marry him.

Through the lens of a Marxist theory, Oseki pities Roku, her former love, who is now in a lower social class than she is. According to Marxist theory, society is made up of different social classes, the middle, upper, and lower classes, which are in a constant state of conflict. In the current context, Oseki is now in the upper social class, while Roku is in the lower social class. This means that she takes her time to consider her marriage with Isamu as a better choice compared to how things would have been with Roku. In other words, she learns that she is probably lucky to have married Isamu, not Roku.

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