The Nose (Akutagawa)

The Reflection in the Mirror: A Close Reading of Akutagawa College

It is human nature for people to seek acceptance from society in order to be happy. In Ryunosuke Akutagawa’s “The Nose,” this idea is seen through the eyes of a priest looking for acceptance from his people. Every day people search for happiness in the things they do and the people they associate with. Very rarely do people look inward to find that acceptance and happiness they desire, but inside look at their surroundings for happiness. The key to happiness is for a person to accept themselves and come to the traditional realization that they were made in God’s own, unique image.

The people with whom we surround ourselves is a reflection of who we are as a individuals; they help mold us into who we become. This process can have both a positive and negative affect on our personality and beliefs as a whole: “A disciple of [Naigu’s] came back to Ike-no-o with a new method for shortening noses” (Akutagawa 22). Naigu’s disciples were always searching for ways to help him fix the problem of having such a long nose. The disciples saw how unhappy his nose made him, on the inside, that is affected his personality on the outside no matter how hard he tried to hide it. The disciple was a good friend in recognizing his master’s inward...

Join Now to View Premium Content

GradeSaver provides access to 944 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 7601 literature essays, 2153 sample college application essays, 318 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.

Join Now

Already a member? Log in