The Strange Truth of Fiction

“Once upon a time, there lived a boy and a girl. The boy was eighteen and the girl sixteen. He was not unusually handsome, and she was not especially beautiful. They were just an ordinary lonely boy and an ordinary lonely girl, like all the others. But they believed with their whole hearts that somewhere in the world there lived the 100% perfect boy and the 100% perfect girl for them. Yes, they believed in a miracle. And that miracle actually happened.”
A quote from the story “On seeing the 100% perfect girl one beautiful April morning” by Haraki Murakami.
Murakami, Haraki (16 July 2012). On seeing the 100% perfect girl one beautiful April morning. Retrieved from http://youmightfindyourself.com/post/22131227213/on-seeing-the-100-perfect-girl-one-beautiful-april.
Also available at http://www.radiored.fm/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1853:haruki-murakami-stories&catid=307:lit-box&Itemid=562 [includes “Chance Traveller” by Murakami, with author discussion on craft].
This noted Japanese writer plays with the genre of the fairy tale, a classic form of children’s literature. He adopts this form for adult purposes.
As you read the story, think about the following questions:
Why are the boy and girl lonely?
What is the effect on you as a reader of the boy’s imagined speech to the girl?
What do you think of the shift from first person to omniscient narration?
What attracts the narrator to the girl?
Why does the boy not speak to the girl?
In a paper of at least 250 words, please respond to the following set of questions.
How would you define perfection in a romantic partner and have you ever observed such perfection?
What constitutes perfection?
Have you ever spotted the 100% perfect man or woman?
How would you relate your ideas to Murakami ’s story?
How does the story’s title make you think of a fairy tale?
What purpose do fairy tales serve?
Why do you think the narrator uses the form of a fairy tale and how does his story differ from fairy tales you have read or heard?
What truth, if any, does this story contain about the purpose of stories?

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