The Last Samurai

The Potential Fathers

Each of the potential fathers which Ludo tests teach him a different lesson. Though he is without a constant male influence in his life, Ludo goes out into the world to find one for himself. His progression into adulthood is visible with his dealings with each of them. The potential fathers include: 1. Hugh Carey 2. George Sorabji 3. Watkins 4. Mustafa Szegti 5. Red Devlin 6. Kenzo Yamamoto

Parallels can be seen between the film in that Ludo would make up the seventh samurai, as there are six men described above.

Ludo seeks out these potential fathers in search of a strong, intelligent man who can guide him towards success in life. However, during his interaction with each potential father, Ludo realizes they have nothing to offer him and he eventually abandons them all. To start, he chooses Hugh Carey (HC) because he was “a man to challenge, a man who knew 50 languages, a man who faced death a hundred times” and it seemed as if “HE could fight with swords” (349). However, Ludo soon becomes conscious of the fact that Hugh Carey is not as intelligent as he once seemed. HC proudly claims that he “knew the whole times table up to 12 by the time [he] was 6” but Ludo is far from impressed for he had “known the times table up to 20 by the time [he] was 4” (352). Similarly, Ludo initially seeks out Sorabji because “all the evidence suggested that Sorabji was not only brilliant but a genuine hero” (403). Just as Ludo doubts HC’s ability to improve his life, Ludo worries that Sorabji wouldn’t be able to help him through hard situations. Ludo says, “I was beginning to think if we fought with real swords I would kill him” (403). Again, when Ludo first seeks out Red Devlin, he admired Devlin for his brave escape after being kidnapped in Azerbaijan for reporting human atrocities. Yet, after watching Devlin commit suicide to escape the troubles in his life, Ludo realizes that he is not as brave as he once thought. In the end, Ludo ends up abandoning all of his potential fathers, as he realizes that he is better off without them.

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