“Onnagata” by Mishima Yukio

The “Onnagata” story by Mishima Yukio exemplifies the numerous themes of sexuality, orientation, and taste through art and literature. The story includes some very important images due to their symbolic nature. The metaphors symbolize several concepts and themes that the author alludes to.

The images underscore the use of imagery, metaphors, and symbolic language in the course of literature. Indeed, they comprise the following phrases: waterfall, shoots of flame, sunset glow, beauty, and snow princess, the essence of delicacy, intoxication, and dazzling brilliance (Yukio 173). In essence, these images emphasize the author’s endeavor to present themes symbolically.

Each image symbolizes a different connotation of the themes of gender and sexuality as epitomized by the author (Yukio 174). The overall symbolic meaning of all the images is the gay sexuality that has been described through various images like snow princess, intoxication, and dazzling brilliance. In this case, the author presents the themes of gay sexuality by offering the discovery of sexual attraction between men and their fellow men. Most of the images in the story symbolize the excitement and the exceptional nature of gay sexuality.

The author has a long history of gay sexual content in the literature, exemplifying the discovery of attraction among men. In fact, this story underscores how men have a female orientation that is epitomized through theater. By celebrating the feminine nature of a male actor in theater, the author typifies how wonderful it is for a man to exhibit female traits. Therefore, the author refers to the fact that it is normal for men to be interested in fellow men and for men to behave like women. The story underscores the existence of a new gender or sexual orientation that favors men who are connected to men rather than women.

The excellence and beauty of gay sexuality are celebrated by describing the experiences as sunset glow. In this case, it symbolizes the wonderful nature of gay sexuality as a male performer taking a female role is described as beautiful, like nature, landscape, and bliss. The images used in this story are intended to demystify gay sexuality by exemplifying the natural inclination to sexual attraction among men. Secondly, the demystification of gay sexuality is achieved by presenting the natural predisposition of men to female characteristics. In essence, the story presents a tale of a male actor perfectly playing a woman’s role.
The images function effectively in the story to emphasize the different angles of themes of gay sexuality (Yukio 175). All the images used are meant to articulate the author’s obsession with gay sexuality and his belief that it is natural for men to have gay tendencies. As such, the exemplification has two sides, including the normal urge for men to be attracted to fellow men and the natural inclination of some men to female characteristics. Therefore, men who become attracted to fellow men act out of their natural predisposition and the presence of female features in other men.

From the above analysis, the images in the story assert the justification of gay sexuality as a natural orientation among men. Therefore, the images play an important function in the story by advancing the author’s argument supporting gays. Through the images, it becomes apparent that gays are natural creations, and they should be allowed to prevail in society.  


Works Cited

Mishima, Yukio. Onnagata. Tokyo: New Directions, 1966.

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