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Throughout
the night as the world is fast asleep, trapped within the realms of their mind
and dreams, the narrator is wide awake and free to do whatever she pleases
knowing that no one would be awake to judge or stop her from doing what she
wanted.  Almost euphoric, the freedom to
do anything and everything she has ever dreamt of doing in her life without
having to consent with society felt electrifying and rapidly turned into an
addiction that she would never be able to shy away from ever again. No matter
what happened she had to stay awake so that she may be able to continue to live
a life where she does not have to always feel oppressed. It was throughout the
day where the narrator felt as if she was never really awake with her mind
escaping elsewhere and her body moved about emotionless and mechanically like a
robot. This is evident when she says, “You push this button and pull this
lever. You adjust a gauge, put on the lid, set on the timer. The same thing
over and over.” (Murakami, 96). What this implies is that during the day just
like every other day before, she felt as though she was doing the same old
routine over and over always getting the same results. The reason as to why she
is compared to that of a robot is because similarly to them, the narrator does
not feel any emotion when she is moving about throughout the day and
interacting with her husband and son. Every day before the narrator’s insomnia
did she find herself cooking, cleaning, eating, and swimming as if just to pass
the time until she went to sleep. These were all mindless activities that she
did so often as referenced when she said that “I could do them with my eyes
closed” (Murakami, 99) which means that these activities no longer bore the
fruits of importance and happiness that they once did for her. In longer cases
of sleep deprivation, what would happen would be the eventual decline in one’s
physical and mental stature because it go against the human biology and belief
that human’s need sleep. Though it is known that the narrator’s body “appeared
to be bursting with vitality” (Murakami, 97) she happened to become more alive
with the lack of sleep than if she actually were sleep. It wouldn’t be until
the whole insomnia incident that the narrator would find herself enjoying and
finding happiness with the little things that she used to do such as drinking
alcohol, eating chocolates, and reading.

As
the days and nights went by the narrator’s mindset continually changed and saw
drastic changes that would see conflict within herself and those around her. It
would be during the sleepless nights where the narrator felt as though she was
doing things that her husband hated such as eating chocolate. Realizing that
this was one of the many desires that she had to suppress to conform to the
ideals of society and her husband she made sure to eat a lot of it. She found
that she wanted to be different than her “old-self” and started to distance
herself from those she once thought she loved being her husband and son. The
fact that her husband and her son were both men contributed to the fact that
she would view them the same way society viewed her which was of lesser
importance and wanted nothing to do with it. The narrator had many desires that
stemmed from her subconscious and the insomnia brought out actions and thoughts
that she felt throughout her life such as withholding sex with her husband and
reading instead. It was the actions that she did during the day that made her
fully disconnect herself from the world and not really live until everyone was
asleep and she was the only one truly living. This was evident when she said,
“Here I was- alive, and I could feel it. It was real.”(Murakami, 96) The
feelings that she felt when she was the only one awake were life changing and so
dramatic. The narrator gradually found her husband uglier by the day and
expressed the feeling that she would no longer be able to love her son the same
way she used to because she viewed them as part of the society that was holding
her back and she wanted to be free to be whomever she wanted to be.

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By
experiencing things she has never done or felt before during her insomnia, the
narrator is presumed to have broken the chains of society and lived a life many
others wished they could. Though by the end of the novel it is clear that lack
of sleep is what caused her the most suffering and torment with the two shadows
victimizing her, it is evident that the narrator had the time of her life when
the world was fast asleep and it was just her who was awake. Whether the
shadows represented that of her husband and son or society trying to slap some
sense back into her life is ultimately up for debate. In essence, life without
sleep for the narrator was a contradiction in itself seeing as she was cheating
life by not sleeping which is against the human body’s biological nature. 

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