Memoirs of a Geisha

 

Theme

In Memoirs of a Geisha a thematic statement that best exemplifies the story is To achieve your goals, you have to take every step, survive through hardships, and let no one stand in your way. This statement shows how Chiyos life evolved from a little girl in a fishing village, to a servant, and then to an extraordinary geisha. Quotes that show how many steps Sayuri had to make to reach her goal includes,

        Quotes that show how many steps Sayuri had to make to reach her goal includes, “Your family sold you to this house, you live here now. If you impress mother, and do exactly as she says, she will send you to school become a geisha.”pg. 85 This quote shows Sayuri’s first step into reaching the chairman because most businessmen go out to tea houses every night companied by geisha. Another quote is, “We don't become Geisha to pursue our own destinies. We become Geisha because

we have no choice.”pg. 360 This is an example of how many negative comments she got throughout the whole book on how she cannot be in love because she is geisha and they must not have any feelings toward people. In this last quote at the end, Sayuri is talking to the chairman, “Can't you see? Every step I have taken, since I was that child on the bridge,

has been to bring myself closer to you." pg. 426 This quote shows how hard she has work to be with the chairman and in the end becomes his Danna.

         These next quotes shows how many obstacles Sayuri was challenged with throughout her career. One of her major conflict was war in Kyoto when she was forced to give up on being a Geisha and work in a factory. "Chairman! They are sending us away but they won't say where. (Chairman) Osaka, but you must not go. The city is a prime target. Get your things, quickly. Nobu and I are trying to find safe havens for as many people as we can. Our factory is there, I have no choice. A year without news, except news of death. Defeat. Shame. Rumors of cities…… evaporating into clouds of smoke. Then another year, and then another.  Until the old life is a dream-life. Was I ever a Geisha? Did I ever dance, holding a fan? Who would hold a fan now... or paint their lips? And then another year. Nothing. Rice… work. Rice… work. Nothing." pg. 375 When all hope was almost lost, Nobu showed up at the camp needing Sayuri’s help. “The chairman and I need American financing. We want to rebuild, but to do that we will need your help. What can I do? Somewhere, under those rags, are you still the greatest Geisha in Myoko? I am not a persuasive man Sayuri, but if you, and a few Geisha, would once again put on your kimono and join us, we can show the Americans how hospitable our country can be."pg. 376