自分の部屋の上の小窓があいていて、そこから部屋の中が見えます。電気がついたままで、二匹の動物がいました。  自分は、ぐらぐら目まいしながら、これもまた人間の姿だ、これもまた人間の姿だ、おどろく事は無い、など劇しい呼吸と共に胸の中で呟き、ヨシ子を助ける事も忘れ、階段に立ちつくしていました。

The main character is looking at the window of his room and he sees something(he's drunk).

My conjecture is, someone is doing something to his wife because he says he couldn't even do anything about it. But what confuses me is, why does he say, "there were two small animals" (first bold text) and then says 「これもまた人間の姿だ」. Is he assuming that what he believes to be two small animals are in fact two people and his wife is cheating on him ?

Further down he says


Which seems to indicate that he believes his wife was violated and he reads novels about wives cheating on their husbands but her way of cheating was unparalleled ? But it doesn't seem to fit somehow. I think the above sentence might also mean, she was the victim and he is searching novels for ways to deal with it. But the former assumption (of her cheating) seems to have a supporting context further down


Above sentence talks about the main character's feeling about the husbands in the stories but he then supplements that with his own thoughts about the matter with her wife which makes me think she did something that asks for an apology to the main character.

Sorry for the long winded question. Here's the entire context: http://dazai.or.jp/modules/novel/index.php?op=viewarticle&artid=158&page=56

  • Just to point out: 動物 doesn't necessarily mean "small" animals. A wolf, a bear and giraffe all can be counted as 動物. If you want to talk specifically about small animals, 小動物 would be the world. – Jimmy Jul 26 '19 at 22:29

At the point of 二匹の動物がいました, no one can tell what's happening with confidence, but there are enough hints in the following paragraphs. Yoshiko was not cheating, but she was being raped by the 無学な小男の商人 because she was an unsuspecting person.

Notable hints are:

  • ヨシ子を助ける事も忘れ
  • 「なんにも、しないからって言って、……」「いい。何も言うな。お前は、ひとを疑う事を知らなかったんだ。お坐り。豆を食べよう」 (なんにもしないから "I won't do anything" is what the 商人 said to Yoshiko)
  • ヨシ子は信頼の天才なのです。ひとを疑う事を知らなかったのです。しかし、それゆえの悲惨。
  • 人妻の犯された物語 = stories where a wife was violated (this 犯す means 'to rape/violate')

Although she was not cheating deliberately, she felt guilty afterwards because she knew she failed to pay enough attention and protect herself. (I think women's chastity was considered more important in those days...) 許す is related to this "mistake".

Regarding the use of 動物, the protagonist of course knew the two were human beings at first sight. This 動物 is a metaphor that implies they were doing something based on animal-like instinct.

  • I was not able to link 商人 with ヨシコ. Thank you! – vadasambar Jul 29 '19 at 2:12

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