4/21 Chikamatsu Act 2 Daily Question

O-san’s mother and brother of Jihei (Magoemon Sama) have arrived and seemed to condemn O-san for her husband’s behavior. The mother says ”…young as you are, you are the mother of two children. It is not enough for you to be merely good-natured. A husband’s evil courses are undoubtedly traceable to a wife’s want of care. When losses compel a man and wife to part, the man is not alone to blame…” (19). Why do they say this to O-San rather than confront Jihei first? Why shame her as if her husband’s infidelity is somehow her fault?

Then later on, after being lied to again by her husband, O-san says ”A wife should do everything in her power for her husband. I have pawned almost all my clothes to meet the bills of the wholesale paper merchants so that my tansu is now empty, but I do not regret it.” (25). Even after finding the letter exchanges between Koharu and her husband, O-San doesn’t trust her gut even though it is telling her that he is adulterous. Yet, she still does not want Koharu to die even though she has the power to destroy her family and take her husband away (not that the two circumstances are determinate of one another). What does this say about O-San and her character?

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