The Invisible Japanese Gentlemen

The Invisible Japanese
Graham Greene
Pre-Reading Discussion
• Do you have the experience of looking at
something but not seeing it? What might
affect people’s seeing power?
• What do you make of the title? In what way
can people be invisible?
P1: a long shot
• How did the author describe the Japanese
gentlemen? List all the details that he had
• Do you think a group of Japanese people
dining in a British restaurant is likely to
arouse much curiosity? How do you
interpret the girl’s indifference?
P2: a close shot
• What do you know about the girl from the
author’s description?
• What does the incongruity of her
appearance and way of speaking tell?
• Can you speculate on the background of the
P3-5: her companion
• How did the author describe the man? Did
he give him as much attention as he gave
the girl?
• Why did the author revert to the Japanese
gentlemen while he was observing the girl
and her partner?
• Can you speculate on the background of the
P6-25: a rising star and her dumb
• Why was the author shocked when he found
the girl was of his own profession? What
qualities do you think are necessary for a
writer? Did the girl have them?
• How well did the couple get along? Did
their relationship promise a happy marriage?
• In what way did the new title differ from the
previous one? What did this change mean?
P26-27: insight of a hardened
• Why was the author pessimistic about the
girl’s career? Why did he feel it a
humiliating thought?
• What insight did the author provide about
the nature of a writer’s profession? What
did the girl expect of her career? Why was
she approved by her publisher but
disapproved by the author?
P28-54: ambition and conceit
• What kind of story do you think will be
produced in a popular resort like St. Tropez?
Why did the girl choose there as the venue
for her next book?
• Who seemed to have the upper hand in the
relationship? What do you think would
happen to the couple after this date?
P55-57: what a future!
• Why did the author think both of them had
made a wrong decision about their
profession? What advice would he offer
them? Does his advice sound sensible?
• What function did the Japanese gentlemen
serve in the whole conversation?
• Power of observation; relativity and selective
• Men and women; apparent harmony and deep
incongruity; dominance and submission;
• The profession of a writer; sand and gold;
• Euro-centrism;
• Cultural differences in the conversational style.

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