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Analysis: Aku no Hana

Influence from Sources

Comparisons with the Baudelaire Work

Charles Baudelaire's 1857 work Les Fleurs du Mal is regarded as one of the premiere works of literature within the symbolist and modernist movements. From Les Fluers du mal, we find inspiration throughout Aku no Hana in regards to actions taken throughout the progress of the story.

To The Reader

Within this section, we are introduced to the first symbol of worms in the sixth stanza, a popular symbol that Nakamura uses to describe people she knows on several occasions. Within the context of the poem, it is used to describe our sins that return to us habitually, which evokes the image of Kasuga's life after he steals Saeki's gym clothes.

Close, swarming, like a million writhing worms,
A demon nation riots in our brains,
And, when we breathe, death flows into our lungs,
A secret stream of dull, lamenting cries.

The final two stanzas evokes the boredom within the lives of Kasuga and Nakamura, and how they wish for their inner desires to come true. Prior to the story, they are being slowly killed by the repetitive dullness of life.

One creature only is most foul and false!

He is Ennui! - with tear-filled eye he dreams
Of scaffolds, as he puffs his water-pipe.
Reader, you know this dainty monster too;
Hypocrite reader, - fellowman, - my twin!

Freudian influence

Despite the clear indication that Shūzō Oshimi wanted to base his work on the prose of Charles Baudelaire, the work also picks and chooses from the psychology of Sigmund Freud. This is especially indicative in the psychology behind Kasuga's decisions as he progresses throughout the story. Perhaps the clearest example is Freud's definition of id, ego, and superego, as represented by the main characters. Kasuga, the present state of psychology and blank slate for viewers, represents ego. Saeki, a self-actualizing goal and aspiration Kasuga wishes to work towards, is the superego. Finally, Nakamura is the id, the base ether of psychology from which all powerful emotion and needs (in this case, chaos) springs from.
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