Examples Of Human Nature In Rashomon

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Humanity as Depicted by “Rashomon” Rynosuke Akutagawa’s “Rashomon” takes place in a declining society weakened by natural disasters, war and hunger. The story shows humanity’s dark side and suggests that human nature is a cause entirely without hope. When faced with dire circumstances the short story “Rashomon” shows that it is human nature to disregard one’s set of beliefs in order to justify unmoral actions, to adjust to toxic situations and ultimately survive in a world different from what is known. When faced with unfavorable situations, humans have a tendency to disregard their moral beliefs in favor of ones that help them cope. While these new beliefs may contradict their previous ones, they are necessary to survival in a rapidly changing world. Throughout the story, changes in a person’s beliefs are shown clearly. In the beginning, Akutagawa writes that “all [the servant] can do is become a thief ” (page 5). Though the servant does not originally see stealing as moral, his mindset eventually shifts and allows him to steal an old woman’s clothes (Akutagawa page five). Instead of admitting theft was…show more content…
Plagued by disaster, war and hunger, the city of Kyoto is an exact opposite of how it was. Once home to the Golden Age’s imperial court, Kyoto is now home to death and destruction. Now, the city’s entrance, the Rashomon, is uncared for and home to abandoned corpses. While the people of Kyoto may once have avoided a decrepit structure, circumstances have changed as a servant and an elderly woman have found refuge there. In order to inhabit such a place, people have to rid themselves of prior preconceptions and reevaluate their lifestyles. Why would someone demote themselves to a lower class when they are used to a better way of living? The only plausible explanation would be that this “new” situation is equivalent in status to that of their old

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