“The Invisible Japanese Gentlemen” By Graham Greene Critique

June 9th, 2010


In the Story Invisible Japanese Gentlemen , a girl is in a restaurant in London and she is talking to her fiance.  As she sits talking to him, she every once and a while look over at a table of Japanese men eating. The narrator sits at a table between the girl and the Japanese men.  As he over hears there talking, He learns that the girl is a writer and is about to get her first book published.  Her publisher has told her good things and promises her a good sell.  Her husband is not so sure and trys to tell her not to get her hopes up and plan to far ahead.  The Japanese men then get up and leave.  The girls fiance then says” i wonder what all these Japanese are doing here?” She then answers back,” What japanese, darling.”


There are many elements in this short story that make it modern.  The first element of modernism is the stories Resistance to traditional form.  This is shown in the Story because there is usually a clear beginning, middle, and end.  In the Invisible Japanese Gentlemen there is no end, In some cases this is called a cliff hanger. But, this is not the case, the story is not suspenseful and is not preparing for a sequel.  Since the story ends ebruptly, and does not give any solution to the problems it is a modern story.  Another modern element shown in the story is shift of focus,  during the story there are three sets of characters described and there is  a shift between which one is important.  It could have been either the Japanese men,  The girl and her Finance, or the narrator himself.  This shift between the characters is another example of modernism.  Technique over content is also show by how the author builds up to were the story stops.  During the story the girl looks over toward the table of the Japanese men but then at the end, she does not know that they are even there, and can not see them.  The narrator sitting between to two groups of interest is also gives the story a modern aspect.  In most traditional stories the narrator of a story is not placed in the middle, unless he is an important character.