• Pat

Thoughts on Dazai Osamu's "No Longer Human” / 太宰治の「人間失格」の印象

Updated: Nov 2, 2020


What does it mean to be considered "Human"? Oba Yozo, a man with a gifted personality since childhood, struggles with this concept his whole, assumably short life. Charming and likeable, he was able to amuse others with his “clowning" around, but it was always under the pretense of providing them with what they wanted at that moment. He claims to not understand people, but ironically, he is most definitely human, being full of a longing for acceptance, success, and love. In the end, his needs are his biggest hindrance.

Trust, it would seem, is core to the human condition. The feeling of mutual respect, recognizing another's dignity, and being able to confide in them without fear of betrayal are paramount. If we go without, we truly are no longer human.

Yozo's inability to recognize this directly leads to his lack of confidence and ability to make real relationships. He merely attempts to reflect what people seem to want, without going forth to form a connection. Humans need real conversations and less shallow, surface level chatter that serve as mere bandages, helping to heal our immediate yearnings, which only leave us hungry for more. Human connections, after all, make us human.

So, to be human, is to be human. What a contradiction.

I truly do sympathize with Yozo. It was frightening to read how similar we are. Perhaps I also require less surface level interactions and more true friendships, lest I develop the same habits he did.








翻訳編集: 杉浦愛

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