夏目漱石の小説『門』にみる明治末期の中流家庭 : 〈下女〉のいる暮らし夏目漱石の小説『門』にみる明治末期の中流家庭 : 〈下女〉のいる暮らしAA11544811 The middle-class household at the end of the Meiji Period as seen in Natsume Soseki'novel The Gate : Life with a maidservant
This paper examines the home life of an urban middle-class household at the end of the Meiji Period as seen in Natsume Soseki’s full-length novel The Gate (1910). The character Sosuke, who resides in a three-person household with his wife and a gejo (maidservant) in a humble rented house nearly 20 minutes on foot from the final station of a rail line, lives in straitened circumstances. Despite his gloomy thoughts on a rainy day with a hole in the sole of his shoe, he cannot afford to buy new shoes.But why does this household, which is not particularly wealthy, have a live-in maidservant? This was because housework in a middle-class household at the end of theMeiji Period took so much time and effort that a full-time housewife could not complete the task herself. Gas lamps were the source of light, and meals were cooked using a shichirin, a small charcoal stove of clay or earthenware. The novel The Gate answers our question persuasively by depicting household articles and the living space in detail.