The use of Weather and Serpent motif
In Bewitched by Ueda Akinari
In the gothic story, “Bewitched” by Ueda Akinari, there are recurring elements and literary devices that are known as motif. The use of weather is an important motif in this story because it‘s used to set the tone at the beginning of the story and it also describes the witchcrafts of Agata no Manago, the antagonist. The lustrous serpent is another important motif because it reveals the true personality of Agata no Manago. Agata is described as a serpent who decides to tempt, lie, trick and even kill Toyo, the main character. The motifs, weather and the serpent will help to develop the main important themes about this short story.
Weather has an important meaning in the tone of “Bewitched”. At the beginning of the story, the author relates about Miwagasaki, a coastal village where the protagonists, Toyo and Agata no Manago live and meet for the first time. The author lets the readers know that a day in Miwagasaki was clear, and the sea was calmed. However, it rain suddenly and the tone of the story changes drastically, from a quiet to a surprising tone. Firstly, Agata no Manago shows up in the middle of the rain looking for a shelter, and this amazes Toyo because he is speechless about her beauty and feels compassion for her need to be helped by someone. Secondly, Toyo wonders of why she was not familiar in the neighborhood, and didn’t have a make escort. Therefore, he starts to question her;
“You seem to be a lady of high station in life,” he said. “Did you come here on a
pilgrimage to the three Kumano shrines? Or to visit the Yunomine Hotspring?
But why have you been strolling at such a bare, unattractive beach as this? (pg 633, line 58-61)
Agata no Manago starts to tell him about a little about herself. She clears...