A Family Supper

This study guide will help you analyse the text “A Family Supper” by Kazuo Ishiguro. Here, you can see examples of elements in the text that will be relevant for your analysis. We will focus on the summary, structure, characters, setting, the point of view and narrator, language, and themes.

Presentation of the text

Title: “A Family Supper”
Author: Kazuo Ishiguro
Date of Publication: 1982
Genre: Short Story

Kazuo Ishiguro (b. 1954) is a British writer, born in Japan. In 1989, Ishiguro received the Man Booker Prize for what is probably his most famous novel, “The Remains of the Day”. His Japanese heritage can be easily identified in several of his literary works, including the short story “A Family Supper”.


Below, you can read an excerpt from our study guide: 

Social setting

The social setting presents the clash of mentalities between Japanese parents and children. Both the father and the mother come from a traditional world that imposes respect and even fear; they have tried to instil the Japanese values in their children, but they have subsequently failed: their son moved to America without any regret, and their daughter has the intention of doing the same thing.

The social setting also presents the reluctance of people belonging to the old generation to accept what is new and modern. For instance, the father presents his reluctance in venturing into new businesses: “Business these days has become so different. Dealing with foreigners. Doing things their way. I don't understand how we've come to this.”

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A Family Supper

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