The Seventh Man: a Tale of Tragedy and Resilience

About this sample

About this sample


Words: 661 |

Pages: 2|

4 min read

Published: Sep 12, 2023

Words: 661|Pages: 2|4 min read

Published: Sep 12, 2023

Table of contents

  1. A Fateful Day by the Sea
  2. The Survivor's Guilt
  3. The Return to the Hometown
  4. A Haunting Resilience
  5. Conclusion: The Lingering Impact of Trauma

"The Seventh Man," a short story by Haruki Murakami, explores the theme of trauma and its lasting impact on an individual's life. In this essay, we will provide a summary of the story, delving into its key elements, characters, and the profound message it conveys.

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A Fateful Day by the Sea

The story is narrated by the protagonist, who recounts a tragic event from his childhood that continues to haunt him. As a young boy, he and six friends often played by the sea, enjoying the waves and the thrill of the ocean. The narrator vividly describes the idyllic setting, emphasizing the beauty and power of nature.

One fateful day, while the seven boys are playing near the shore, a monstrous wave suddenly engulfs them. The force of the wave is overwhelming, and despite their best efforts to cling to a tree, six of the boys are swept away by the sea and drowned. The narrator is the only one who survives, clinging to the tree for dear life.

The Survivor's Guilt

The core of the story lies in the survivor's guilt that plagues the narrator throughout his life. He grapples with the traumatic memory of watching his friends perish in the raging sea, unable to save them. This traumatic experience shapes the rest of his life, leaving him with a profound sense of loss, guilt, and a haunting fear of the sea.

The survivor's guilt is further exacerbated by the reactions of the adults in the town. Instead of offering support and understanding, they blame the children for venturing too close to the dangerous sea. This societal response compounds the narrator's emotional burden and sense of isolation.

The Return to the Hometown

Years later, the narrator returns to his hometown after living abroad. He still grapples with the trauma of that fateful day and the loss of his friends. He describes the ocean as a menacing and vengeful force, convinced that it is out to get him. This irrational fear has kept him away from the sea for most of his life.

However, during his visit, the narrator confronts his fear and decides to go to the beach alone. He walks into the water, challenging the sea, and tries to make peace with the past. In this climactic moment, he screams at the sea, expressing his anger, sadness, and longing for his lost friends.

A Haunting Resilience

"The Seventh Man" is a story of resilience in the face of trauma. The narrator's ability to confront his deepest fears and the traumatic memories of his past reflects the human capacity to endure and heal. While the story does not offer a neat resolution or complete closure, it emphasizes the importance of acknowledging and addressing the emotional scars left by traumatic experiences.

The title, "The Seventh Man," underscores the idea that the narrator is more than just a survivor; he is the bearer of a collective memory of the seven friends who played by the sea that day. His survival carries the weight of their memory, and his journey to the ocean is an act of remembrance and reconciliation.

Conclusion: The Lingering Impact of Trauma

"The Seventh Man" by Haruki Murakami is a poignant exploration of the lasting impact of trauma and survivor's guilt. It vividly portrays the emotional turmoil and fear that can persist long after a traumatic event. The story serves as a reminder of the resilience of the human spirit and the importance of confronting and processing traumatic experiences.

Through the protagonist's journey to the sea and his attempt to make peace with his past, the story encourages readers to acknowledge and address their own emotional scars, no matter how deep they may run. It is a powerful narrative that lingers in the mind, inviting reflection on the ways in which trauma shapes our lives and our capacity to heal.

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"The Seventh Man" reminds us that even in the face of life-altering tragedy, there is the potential for growth, resilience, and the possibility of finding a way to live with the ghosts of the past.

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This essay was reviewed by
Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

Cite this Essay

The Seventh Man: A Tale of Tragedy and Resilience. (2023, September 12). GradesFixer. Retrieved July 15, 2024, from
“The Seventh Man: A Tale of Tragedy and Resilience.” GradesFixer, 12 Sept. 2023,
The Seventh Man: A Tale of Tragedy and Resilience. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 15 Jul. 2024].
The Seventh Man: A Tale of Tragedy and Resilience [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2023 Sept 12 [cited 2024 Jul 15]. Available from:
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