The main themes of the short story “A Family Supper” by Kazuo Ishiguro are tradition versus modernity and the difference between generations, enhanced by the motif of broken communication.

Tradition versus modernity

The first aspect which indicates the existence of this theme is the main physical setting. The action takes place in Tokyo, Japan, namely in Kamakura district. This place was the seat of the Shogunate (a military dictatorship) until 1333. The place where the narrator comes from is, then, a place filled with strictness and tradition.

The mother and the father have lived in a society which honours and values the traditions of the past. Note, for instance, that the narrator is initially invited in the tea-room in a formal way, even if he is p...

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