The Toothed Wheel is a sixーchapter novel by Akutagawa Ryunosuke, a posthumous work published in the October 1927 issue of the literary magazine Bungeishunju. Exposure to the Western art trends in vogue since 1910"s was apparently a great stimulus to the writer who were looking for new avenues for writing novels. This is clearly evident in many artistic elements in his works, especially The Toothed Wheel which demonstrates unique use of colors in his narration. The writer"s use of colors appears to be motivated by his intention to reveal his own desperate feelings more vividly. It is so effective that the fictional world created by the writer comes alive to the readership. Colors in The Toothed Wheel vary: black, white, red, yellow, green, pink, gray, and dark brown, and this variance is in synchrony with how the main character thinks and feels. The author"s use of colors seems analogous to Picasso"s technique of decomposing an object into various pieces and coloring them differently. Akutagawa himself once wrote a short essay in which he compared himself to Picasso. He feared that his work might be hard to understand, just like the paintings by Picasso who stubbornly and persistently pioneered a new field of art. Nevertheless, he was unrelenting in his intentions and convictions. Such artistic attitude culminates in the death of the main character who bravely faces extreme pains in his pursuit of art. The readers, in a sense, come to hear ultimate confessions by the author who faces imminent death in real life.
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