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Seventeen Syllables My Favorite Short Story The first paragraph in Seventeen Syllables by Hisaye Yamamoto describes the first time Rosie realized her mother wrote haikus Her mother reads her a haiku she has written and Rosie pretends to enjoy and understand it This is the first hint of deception Rosie does not want her mother to know that she isnt as fluent in Japanese as her mother thinks Rosie is being dishonest with her mother but little does she know that she is not the only one being deceitful The theme of Seventeen Syllables is one of deception which can be seen at various points through the story Rosie and her father lived for a while with two women her mother and Ume Hanazono This sentence is foreshadowing the end of the story because of the remark for awhile It is understood that this living with two women will only be temporary The mother is both Tome Hayashi wife and mother and Ume Hanazono the writer The visit to the Hayano familys house is very significant to the story because here we see how other Japanese woman carry themselves Mrs Hayano is portrayed as a quiet and feeble woman quite the opposite of Mrs Hayashi On this visit Mrs Hayano sat all evening in the rocker as motionless and unobstrusive as it was possible for her to be Meanwhile Mrs Hayashi is engrossed in talk with Mr Hayano about haikus I think Mrs Hayano was placed in the story to show how different Rosies mother is in contrast to her At the end of this visit Rosies father becomes annoyed because once again hes placed second to his wifes discussions about haikus with Mr Hayano He abruptly ends the visit forcing Rosie and her mother to leave as well When Tome realizes that she has upset
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