ENGL 110 College of San Mateo Super Frog Saves Tokyo & Chango Questions

engl 110

College of San Mateo


Question Description

I’m trying to learn for my Literature class and I’m stuck. Can you help?

Questions for "super-frog saves tokyo"

  1. In the first scene, Murakami immediately creates a sense of contrast between the mundane/domestic and the weird/fantastic. What are some specific details or images that Murakami uses to establish both sides of the spectrum? And furthermore: why is it important for the author to create this contrast?
  2. What does Frog’s behavior in the first few pages reveal about him?
  3. Frog tells Mr. Katagiri on page 94, “There are those who say that ‘understanding’ is merely the sum total of our misunderstandings.” What do you think he means by this? How do you think it’s related to the plot of the story?
  4. Why is Tokyo in danger? How does Frog intend on saving Tokyo from destruction?
  5. Katagiri asks Frog on page 99, “Why did you choose me to go with you?” Find 5 key phrases that signify traits/qualities that Frog recognizes in Katagiri.
  6. Similar to the last question, do a characterization of Worm. Specifically, what makes him such a dangerous threat? What could Worm be a symbol for?
  7. Again, Frog cites another author on p. 100, “As Nietzsche said, the highest wisdom is to have no fear.” What does this quote mean to you? Do you agree? How does it relate to the story?
  8. On page 110, Frog tells Mr. Katagiri, “The whole terrible fight occurred in the area of the imagination. That is the precise location of our battlefield. It is there that we experience our victories and our defeats.” What is Katagiri’s “victory”? What is his “defeat”?
  9. Is there a scene which we can take as “reality”? That is, much of the story contains elements of fantasy, or perhaps “magic-realism,” so which scene (if any) can we receive as being the true reality of the story?
  10. Frog’s death scene is very vivid in detail. What is it symbolizing?
  11. What is the central ambiguity of the story? How is it acting on or enhancing, in a constructive way, the meaning of the overall story?
  12. Find 5 vocabulary words from the story and write down their definitions.

Questions for "Chango":

  1. Where is Brownsville? Take a look on google images and get a feel for the city. Using the author's descriptive evidence form the text, what kind of neighborhood does Bony live in? Rich, normal, poor? Name at least 3 characteristics.
  2. Describe the tone/writing style of the piece. How does it compare with everything else we’ve read so far this semester (including "super-frog saves tokyo")?
  3. Within the first several pages, what do we know about Bony? List 3 traits/attributes.
  4. What does Bony do for money? Why was he fired from his last job?
  5. Who is Mando and why is he important to Bony and the story as a whole? How are Mando and Bony similar? How are they different? Name at least 3 for both.
  6. Why do you think Bony drove to Lincoln Park with the dead chango (the first time, on page 55)? What memories does he relive there? How are they significant to why he is still refusing to dispose of the head?
  7. What is significant about the canal? What previous event happened there?
  8. On the very last page, more than the dead monkey’s head, what does Bony “let go” of?
  9. What is the central ambiguity of this story? In what way does it change from the beginning of the story to the end?
  10. How is the central ambiguity acting on the overall meaning of the story in a constructive way? In other words, by leaving out certain bits of information, how is the author conversely––or even paradoxically––creating more meaning?

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after the from: After the Quake (2003), by Haruki Murakami quake The plane reached cruising altitude and the FASTEN SEAT BELT sign went out. So, thought Satsuki, I'm going back to Japan. She tried to think about what lay ahead, but soon gave up. "Words turn into stone;' Nimit had told her. She settled deep into her seat and closed her eyes. All at once the image came to her of the sky she had seen while swimming on her back. And super-frog saves tokyo Erroll Garner's "I'll Remember April:' Let me sleep, she thought. Just let me sleep. And wait for the dream to come. Katagiri found a giant frog waiting for him in his apartment. It was powerfully built, standing over six feet tall on its hind legs. A skinny little man no more than five-foot-three, Katagiri was overwhelmed by the frog's imposing bulk. "Call me 'Frog;" said the frog in a clear, strong voice. Katagiri stood rooted in the doorway, unable to speak. "Don't be afraid, I'm not here to hurt you. Just come in and close the door. Please:' Briefcase in his right hand, grocery bag with fresh vegetables and tanned salmon cradled in his left arm, Katagiri didn't dare move. "Please, Mr. Katagiri, hurry and close the door, and take off your shoes:' The sound of his own name helped Katagiri snap out of it. He closed the door as ordered, set the grocery bag on the raised wooden floor, pinned the briefcase under one arm, and unlaced his shoes. Frog gestured for him to take a seat at the kitchen table, which he did. 9 0 9, l after the "I must apologize, Mr. Katagiri, for having barged in while you were out;' Frog said. "I knew it would be a shock for you to find me here. But I had no choice. How about a cup of tea? I thought you would be coming home soon, so I boiled some water:' Katagiri still had his briefcase jammed under his arm. Somebody's playing a joke on me, he thought. Somebody's rigged himself up in this huge frog costume just to have fun with me. But he knew, as he watched Frog pour boiling water into the teapot, humn1ing all the while, that these had to be the limbs and movements of a real frog. Frog set a cup. of green tea in front of Katagiri, and poured another one for himself Sipping his tea, Frog a~ked, "Calming down?" But still Katagiri could"not speak. "I know I should have made an appointment to visit you, Mr. Katagiri. I am fully aware of the proprieties. Anyone would be shocked to find a big frog waiting for him at home. But an urgent matter brings me here. Please forgive me:' "Urgent matter?" Katagiri managed to produce words at last.. "Yes, indeed;' Frog said. "Why else would I take the liberty of barging into a person's home? Such discourtesy is not my customary style:' "Does this 'matter' have something to do with me?" "Yes and no;' said Frog with a tilt of the head. "No and yes:' I've got to get a grip on mysel£ thought Katagiri. "Do you mind if I smoke?" · "Not at all, not at all;' Frog said with a smile. "It's your home. You don't have to ask my permission. Smoke and drink as much as you like. I myself am not a smoker, but I can hardly impose my distaste for tobacco on others in their own homes:' 9 2 super-frog quake saves tokyo Katagiri pulled a pack of cigarettes from his coat pocket and ·struck a match. He saw his hand trembling as he lit up. Seated qpposite him, Frog seemed to be studying his every movement. "You don't happen to be connected with some kind of gang by any chance?" Katagiri found the courage to ask. "Ha ha ha ha l;ia ha! What a wonderful sense of humor you have, Mr. Katagiri!" he said, slapping his webbed hand against his thigh. "There may be a shortage of skilled labor, but what gang is going to hire a frog to do ;heir dirty work? They'd be made a laughingstock:' "Well, if you're here to negotiate a repayment, you're wasting your time. I have no authority to make such decisions. Only my superiors can do that. I just follow orders. I can't do a thing for you:' "Please, Mr. Katagiri;' Frog said, raising one webbed fing~r. "I have not come here on such petty business. I am fully aware that you are assistant chief of the Lending Division of the Shinjuku branch of the Tokyo Security Trust Bank. But my visit has nothing to do with the repayment of loans. I have come here to save Tokyo from destruction:' Katagiri scanned the room for a hidden TV camera in case he was being made the butt of some huge, terrible joke. But there was no camera. It was a small apartment. There was no place for anyone to hide. "No;' Frog said, "we are the only ones here. I know you are thinking that I must be mad, or that you are having some kind of dream, but I am not crazy and you are not dreaming. This is absolutely, positively serious:' "To tell you the truth, Mr. Frog-" 9 3 atter the quake. super-frog saves tokyo "Please," Frog said, raising one finger agam. "Call me 'Frog:" Katagiri nodded. Hoping to calm himself, he picked up his · and swallowed a mouthful of tea. "You said before that "To tell you the truth, Frog;' Katagiri said, "I can't quite understand what is going on here. It's not that I don't trust you, you have come here to save Tokyo from destruction?" but I don't seem to be able to grasp the situation exactly. Do you mind if I ask you a question or two?" "Not at all, not at ail;' Frog said. "Mutual understanding is of critical importance. There are those who say that 'understanding' is merely the sum total of our misunderstandings, and while I do find this view interesting in its own way, I am afraid that we have no time to spare on pleasant digressions. The best thing would be for us to achieve mutual understanding via the shortest possible route. Therefore, by all means, ask as many questions as you wish:' "Now, you are a real frog, am I right?" "Yes, of course, as you can see. A real frog is exactly what I am. A product neither of metaphor nor allusion nor deconstruction not sampling nor any other such complex process, I am a genuine frog. Shall I croak for you?" Frog tilted back his head and flexed the muscles of his huge throat. Ribit! Ri-i-i-bit! Ribit-ribit-ribit! Ribit! Ribit! Ri-i-i-bit! His gigantic croaks rattled the pictures hanging on the walls. "Fine, I see, I see!" Katagiri said, worried about the thin walls of the cheap apartment house in which he lived. "That's great. You are, without question, a real frog:' "That is what I said:' "What kind of destruction?" "Earthquake;'. Frog said with the utmost gravity. Mouth dropping open, Katagiri looked at Frog. And Frog, saying nothing, looked at Katagiri. They went on staring at each other like this for some time. Next it was Frog's turn to open his mouth. . .. "A very, very big earthquake. It is set to strike Tokyo at eight-thirty a.m. on February 18. Three days from now. A much bigger earthquake than the one that struck Kobe last month. The number of dead from such a quake would probably exceed a hundred and fifty thousand-mostly from accidents involving the commuter system: derailments, falling vehicles, crashes, the collapse of elevated expressways and rail lines, the crushing of subways, the explosion of tanker trucks. Buildings will be transformed into piles of rubble, their inhabitants crushed to death. Fires everywhere, the road system in a state of collapse, ambulances and fire trucks useless, people just lying there, dying. A hundred and fifty thousand of them! Pure hell. People _ will be made to realize what a fragile condition the intensive "One might also say that I am the sum total of all frogs. Nonetheless, this does nothing to change the fact that I am a frog. Anyone claiming that I am not a frog would be a dirty liar. I would smash such a person to bits!" collectivity known as 'city' really is:' Frog said this with a gentle shake of the head. "The epicenter will be dose to the Shinjuku ward office:' "Close to the Shinjuku ward office?" "To be precise, it will hit directly beneath the Shinjuku branch of the Tokyo Security Trust Bank:' 9 4 9 5 atter the quake A heavy silence followed. ''.And you," Katagiri said, "are planning to stop this earthquake?" "Exactly;' Frog said, nodding. "That is exactly what I propose to do. You and I will go underground beneath the Shinjuku branch of the Tokyo Security Trust Bank to do mortal combat with Worm:' super-frog saves tokyo debt, Katagiri had been surrounded more than once by mobsters threatening to kill him, but he had never been frightened. What good would it have done them to kill one man running around for the bank? They could stab hi~ if they wanted to. They could beat him up. He was perfect for the job: no wife, no kids, both pa~ents dead, brother and sister he had put through college married off So what if they killed him? it wouldn't change anything for anybody-least of all for Kata- As a member of the Trust Bank Lending Division, Katagiri had fought his way through many a battle. He had weathered sixteen years of daily combat since the day he graduated from the university and joined the bank's staff He was, in a word, a collection officer-a post that carried little popularity. Everyone in his division preferred to make loans, especially at the time of the bubble. They had so much money in those days that almost any likely piece of collateral-be it land or stock-was enough giri himself It was not Katagiri but the thugs..surrounding him who got nervous when the-y saw him so calm and cool. He soon earned a kind of reputation in their world as a tough guy. Now, though, the taught Katagiri was at a total loss. What the hell was this frog talking about? Worm? "Who is Worm?" he asked with some hesitation. "Worm lives underground. He is a gigantic worm. When he to convince loan officers to give away whatever they were asked for, the bigger the loan the better their reputations in the company. Some loans, though, never made it back to the bank: they got "stuck to the bottom of the pan:' It was Katagiri's job to take care of those. And when the bubble burst, the work piled on. First stock prices fell, and then land values, and collateral lost all significance. "Get out there;' his boss commanded him, "and squeeze whatever you can out of them:' gets angry, he causes earthquakes;' Frog said. "And right now The Kabukicho neighborhood of Shinjuku was a labyrinth of violence: old-time gangsters, Korean mobsters, Chinese mafia, guns and drugs, money flowing beneath the surface from one murky den to another, people vanishing every now and then like a puff of smoke. Plunging into Kabukicho to collect a bad imagine, have atrophied, his brain has turned to jelly as he sleeps. If you ask me, I'd guess he probably isn't thinking anything at all, just lying there and feeling every little rumble and reverberation that comes his way, absorbing them into his body, and storing them up. And then, through some kind of chemical 96 9 7 he is very, very angry:' "What is he angry about?" Katagiri asked. "I have no idea;' Frog said. "Nobody knows what Worm is thinking inside that murky head of his. Few have ever seen him. He is usually asleep. That's what he really likes to do: take long, long naps. He goes on sleeping for years-decades-in the warmth and darkness underground. His eyes, as you might after the quake. process, he replaces most of them with rage. Why this happens I have no idea. I could never explain it:' Frog fell silent, watching Katagiri and waiting until his words had sunk in. Then he went on: super-frog saves tokyo back. "I still don't get it;' he said. "Why did you choose me to go with you?" . Frog looked straight into Katagiri's eyes and said, "I have always had the profoundest respect for you, Mr. Katagiri. For "Please don't misunderstand me, though. I feel no personal sixteen long years, you have silently accepted the most danger- animosity toward Worm. I don't see him as the embodiment of ous, least glamo~ous assignments-the jobs that others have evil. Not that I would want to be his friend, either: I just think avoided-and you have carried them off beautifully. I know full that, as far as the world is concerned, it is in a sense all right for a well how difficult this has been for you, and I believe that neither being like him to exist. The world is like a great big- overcoat, your superiors nor your colleagues properly appreciate your ac- and- it needs pockets of various shapes and sizes. But right at complishments. They are blind, the whole lot of them. But you, the moment Worm has reached the point where he is too dan- unappreciated and unpromoted, have never once complained. gerous to ignore. With all the different kinds of hatred he has "Nor is it simply a matter of your work. After your par- ~ absorbed and stored inside himself over the years, his heart and ents died, you raised your teenage brother and sister single- body have swollen to gargantuan proportions-bigger than handedly, put them through college, and even arranged for ever before. And to make matters worse, last month's Kobe them to marry, all at great sacrifice of your time and income, earthquake shook him out of the deep sleep he was enjoying. and at the expense of your own marriage prospects. In spite of He experienced a revelation inspired by his profound rage: it this, your brother and sister have never once expressed grati- was time now for him, too, to cause a massive earthquake, and tude for your efforts on their .behalf Far from it: they have he'd do it here, in Tokyo. I know what I'm talking about, Mr. shown you no respect and acted with the most callous disre- Katagiri: I have received reliable information on the timing and gard for your loving-kindness. In my opinion, their behavior is scale of the earthquake from some of my best bug friends:' unconscionable. I almost wish I could beat them to a pulp on Frog snapped his mouth shut and closed his round eyes in apparent fatigue. your behalf But you, meanwhile, show no trace of anger. "To be quite honest, Mr. Katagiri, you are nothing much to "So what you're saying is;' Katagiri said, "that you and I look at, and you are far from eloquent, so you tend to be have to go underground together and fight Worm to stop the earthquake:' looked down upon by those around you. I, however, can see what a sensible and courageous man you are. In all of Tokyo, "Exact1" y. with its teeming millions, there is no one else I could trust as Katagiri reached for his cup of tea, picked it up, and put it much as you to fight by my side:' 9 8 9 9 a t t e r t h e q u a k e. "Tell me, Mr. Frog-" Katagiri said. "Please," Frog said; raising one finger agam. "Call me 'Frog."' "Tell me, Frog;' Katagiri said, "how do you know so much about me?" "Well, Mr. Katagiri, I have not been frogging all these years for nothing. I keep my eye on the important things in life:' "But still, Frog;' Katagiri said, ''I'm not particularly strong, and I don't know anything about what's happening underground. I don't have the kind of muscle it will take to fight Worm in the darkness. I'm sure you can find somebody a lot stronger than me-a man who does karate, say, or a SelfDefense Force commando:' . Frog rolled his large eyes. "To tell you the truth, Mr. Katagiri;' he said, "I'm the one who will do all the fighting. But I super-frog saves tokyo to share your simple courage with me, to support me with your ·whole heart as a true friend. Do you understand what I am trying to tell you?" None of this made any sense to Kat.agiri, but still he felt that-unreal as it sounded-he could believe whatever Frog said to him. So~ething about Frog-the look on his face, the way he spoke-had a simple honesty to it that appealed directly to the heart. After years of work in the toughest division qf the Security Trust Bank, Katagiri possessed the ability to sense such things. It was all but second ~ature to him. "I know this must be difficult for you, Mr. Katagiri. A h~ge frog comes barging into your place and asks you to believe all these outlandish things. Your reaction is perfectly natural. And so I intend to provide you with proof that I exist. Tell me, Mr. Katagiri, you have been having a great deal of trouble recover- can't do it alone. This is the key thing: I need your courage and your passion for justice. I need you to stand behind me and say, 'Way to go, Frog! You're doing great! I know you can win! You're fighting the good fight!"' ing a loan the bank made to Big Bear Trading, have you not?" Frog opened his arms wide, then slapped his webbed hands down on his knees again. sters. They're scheming to make the company go bankrupt and get out of its debts. Your bank's loan officer shoved a pile of cash at them without a decent background check, and, as usual, the one who's left to clean up after him is you, Mr. Katagiri. But "In all honesty, Mr. Katagiri, the thought of fighting Worm in the dark frightens me, too. For many years I lived as a pacifist, loving art, living with nature. Fighting is not something I like to do. I do it because I have to. And this particular fight will be a fierce one, that is certain. I may not return from it alive. I may lose a limb or two in the process. But I cannot-I will not-run away. As Nietzsche said, the highest wisdom is to have no fear. What I want from you, Mr. Katagiri, is for you l 0 0 "That's true;' Katagiri said. "Well, they have a number of extortionists working behind the scenes, and those individuals are mixed up with the mob- you're having a hard time sinking your teeth into these fellows: they're no pushovers. And there may be a powerful politician backing them up. They're into you for seven hundred million yen. That is the situation you are dealing with, am I right?" "You certainly are:' Frog stretched his arms out wide, his big green webs opening l 0 l after the super-frog quake like pale wings. "Don't worry, Mr. Katagiri. Leave everything to me. By tomorrow morning, old Frog will have your problems solved. Relax and have a good night's sleep:' With a big smile on his face, Frog stood up. Then, flattening himself like a dried squid, he slipped out through the gap at saves tokyo The connection was cut. Frog visited Katagiri in his Trust Bank office at lunchtime. '.'That Big Bear case is working out well for you, I presume?" Katagiri glanced around uneasily. "D on't worry,"Frog sa1'd. "Viou are the only one who can see the side of the closed door, leaving Katagiri all alone. The two m~. teacups on the kitchen table were the only indication that Frog a product of your imagination. I can take action and produce had ever been in Katagiri's apartment. results. I am a real, living being:' But now I ari:i sure you realize that I actually exist. I am not "Tell me, Mr. Frog-" The moment Katagiri arrived at work the next morning at nine, the phone on his desk rang. . "Please;' Frog said, raising one finger. "Call me 'Frog:" "Tell me, Frog;' Katagiri said) "what did you do to them?" "Mr. Katagiri;' said a· man's voice. It was cold and busi- "Oh, nothing much;' Frog said. "Nothing much more com- nesslike. "My name is Shiraoka. I am an attorney with the Big plicated than boiling Brussels sprouts. I just gave them a little Bear case. I received a call from my client this morning with scare. A touch of psychological terror. As Joseph Conrad once regard to the pending loan matter. He wants you to know that wrote, true terror is the kind that men feel toward their imagi- he will take full responsibility for returning the entire amount nation. But never mind that, Mr. Katagiri. Tell me about the Big requested by the due date. He will also give you a signed mem- Bear case. It's going well?" orandum to that effect. His only request is that you do not Katagiri nodded and lit a cigarette. "Seems to be." send Frog to his home again. I repeat: he wants you lo ask Frog "So, then, have I succeeded in gaining your trust with regard never to visit his home again. I ...
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Answering Questions
Questions for "super-frog saves tokyo"

1. In the first scene, Murakami immediately creates a sense of contrast between the
mundane/domestic and the weird/fantastic. What are some specific details or images
that Murakami uses to establish both sides of the spectrum? Furthermore: why is it
important for the author to create this contrast?

Murakami uses powerful built and six feet on its hind leg to describe the size of the frog and a
skinny little man, about five-point three-foot to describe Katagiri. The description will help the
reader have a clear picture of the characters in terms of the size and why one is fearing the other.
2. What does the Frog’s behavior in the first few pages reveal about him?

He reveals that he is friendly and concerned about Katagiri. This is evident when he welcomes
Katagiri in his house and gives him tea. Also, the way the author portrays him talking reveals
him as an extraordinary creature since frogs do not speak.
3. Frog tells Mr. Katagiri on page 94, “There are those who say that ‘understanding’ is
merely the total of our misunderstandings.” What do you think he means by this?
How do you think it’s related to the plot of the story?

He means that the misunderstanding between them will eventually result in understanding after
they reason together. The statement is related to the plot as it shows that the two will eventually



4. Why is Tokyo in danger? How does Frog intend on saving Tokyo from destruction?

Tokyo is in danger of being faced with a big earthquake that will cause death and huge
destruction on properties. Frog intends to stop the earthqu...

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