UCLA Akutagawas Novel the Ball and Cogwheels Analysis Choose one or more of the following questions and write a response paper of 1-2 pages, double-spaced
1. In “The Ball,” what are the distinguishing characteristics of the Rokumeikan? What are some of the key images that are used to describe this space?
2. How does Akiko’s experience of the ball differ from that of the French naval officer?
3. How does the story’s coda highlight differences between those who lived in the Meiji
period and those of a later generation?
4. In “Cogwheels,” what is the meaning of the work’s title?
5. What role do images of technology play in the story? Why is the narrator so disturbed
by such images?
6. How does the cultural and social landscape of “Cogwheels” differ from what is found in
“The Ball”? Is there a difference in the way that European culture is portrayed in the two
7. Is this story primarily about one person’s experience, or does is provide commentary on
a shared cultural or social experience? Purchase answer to see full