Shinichi Hoshi tells a great tale of irony and human stubbornness in the short story, “He-y, Come on Ou-t”. A great storm that hits a small town and destroys their shrine which leaves a gaping hole where it once stood; the villagers quickly figure out that the bottom of the hole cannot be found. A concessionaire buys the hole and people pay to dump very terrible things into it such as nuclear waste and incriminating evidence, but in the end it all ends up getting dumped on the village from the sky. Humans like to and tend to throw away future worries and enjoy the immediate benefits of a situation regardless of how dire the future situation may be, Hoshi expresses this by using symbolism and irony in his short story “He-y, Come on Ou-t”.
Humans have caused and will cause dire circumstances for themselves by overlooking potential future threats in any given situation; this is conveyed in the short story through symbolism. When the hole is first found a young man says, “‘I wonder if it’s a fox’s hole’” (Hoshi 1). The fox symbolizes the villagers because foxes are seen as sly and the villagers think they are sly when they make a scheme to dump everything in the hole and profit from it without consequence, there is further symbolism when it is technically the village at the bottom of the hole. Soon after the people, “cut down some trees, [tie] them with rope and [make] a fence which they put around the hole” (2). Sbrocchi 2 This symbolizes that the villagers already know the hole is a bad thing and they need to protect people from it by building a fence around it, much like a pit bull or Rottweiler; also this is foreshadowing because the hole ends up being a dangerous thing.
Perhaps greatest moment of symbolism in the story comes at the last line, when it is revealed to the reader that all that is dumped in the hole is going to rain down on the city, because a builder is taking his break when, “a small pebble skimmed by him and fell on past. The man however, was gazing in idle reverie at the city’s skyline growing evermore beautiful, and he failed to notice (4). The theme of the whole story is explained in the builder’s actions, the builder symbolizes humans as a whole, they ignore the future threat that the pebble symbolizes and look out at the “success” that they have created.
Irony is a powerful tool in literature that is used to get a message through to the reader. In this story it is used in many ways to show the stubbornness of mankind to only focus on the today not the tomorrow. Near the beginning of the story before the young man is about to throw a pebble in the hole an old man warns him by saying “‘you might bring down a curse on us. Lay off,’ […] but the younger one energetically [throws] the pebble in.”(2). This is so ironic because in the end the older man was right, it did bring down a curse on them, all that garbage came right back down on them. This is so important because it is exactly the theme of the story, the young man failed to recognize the threat in front of him, he set it aside so he could have his fun right now regardless of what the future may bring and the future brought evil, which was self-inflicted.
The panicle of irony in the story that really throws the theme at the reader is when the narrator says “Everyone disliked thinking about the eventual consequences” That is Sbrocchi 3 literally the theme of the story, it is ironic because the eventual consequences that everyone thought would come many years later ended up right at the doorstep of the village in not long at all, and these consequences came in a form much worse than what anyone could have ever expected.
There is a lesson to be learned from this story and it is that if a situation arises for something good to come in the now, in the today, but it raises problems for the tomorrow, those problems must be dealt with in the today and not pushed aside because they are unpleasant to think about. No matter how great a success something may bring it could all be in vein if the same thing will also bring pain and suffering in the future; it will not be a success at all, it will be a giant failure. In the story, something fictional happens to the villagers, but things just as bad or worse will come from actions in real life, they just may not be as obvious or come as fast. Humans like to focus on the good in situations not in the possible bad, this has to change.
Courtney from Study Moose
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