The New Yorker; July 1, 2002
Expectations of the story title before reading
Airplane ? the primary meaning signals a story will be situated in the plane. Secondary, it seemed as a symbol to me. I could personally imagine a piece of freedom in it, or a concrete bird.
Analysis of the title after reading
This story would not necessarily by analyzed from the point of view of its plot. If we did like that, we would negate the author?s intention, e.i.: "the excitement of no notion about what?s going to happen next" or we would seek something that is not present.
Technically, there is neither time graduality or closed ending. The reader is put in the middle of the author´s thoughts (in medias res), the beginning words come from dialogue between man and woman ? e.i. a limited number of characters is present. The story is realistic with a great dose of imagination, mysticism and fantasy, situated in present times.
The stress is put on the atmosphere, symbols, unique feelings, imagination, inner life, etc.
The crucial factors that arise in the story and which make it specific (so unusual and surprising) are the most remarkable:
?This was the very first time that she cried twice in the same day. It was also the last. He touched her hair. There was something real about the way it felt- hard and smooth and far away.?
Identification with the hero (nostalgic feelings, longing for the homeland- Japan)
?Tracks without trains passing over them have a mysterious silence all their own.?
?Her husband worked for a travel agency that specialized in trips abroad.?
?When she looked at the clock, a train would pass the window. It was like a conditioned reflex: She would look, a train would go by?
The significant role plays here the hero?s talking to himself: ?Airplane, Airplane flying, I on the airplane, The airplane flying, ?
The darkness of the subconscious, introversion, contemplative characters
?I sometimes think that people?s hearts are like deep wells. Nobody knows what is at the bottom. All you can do is imagine by what comes floating to the surface every once in a while.?
Talking to himself
?He believed he had lived his life with his own sense of values. But when he was in this room hearing the trains go by and holding the silent older woman in his arms, he could not help feeling confused. Am I in love with her??
Music ? a key of interpretation
?The rows looked less like a record collection than a symbol of a world view: calm, immovable.?
?A piano sounded in a distance, he recognized the melody, ??
?Why were people so different from one another? Any woman cried and got angry, but each in her own special way. ?
?Far more meaningful than age differences, he felt, were the different tendencies that each individual possessed. He couldn?t help thinking that this was an important key for unlocking the riddle of life.?
Mysterious woman, mystical world, erotic characters, nihilism
?She cried enough as it was. She would cry for a long, long time, making tiny sounds. He almost never knew why she was crying. But, once she started, she wouldn?t stop. After she finished crying, usually, the two of them make love. That was a silent lovemaking?