One of the things I found most interesting while reading was how After Dark seems to highlight many aspects of the environment that seem generic. The way that Haruki Murakami describes many of the settings makes them seem unoriginal and like they could exist anywhere they were constructed. There is a great deal that describes the man-made aspects of the environment, which leaves it feeling somewhat cold and impersonal.
One of the earliest and most clear representations of this is the scene in Denny’s. Although this is a scene that depicts Mari first interacting with others and begins the reader’s interest in the real aspects of the story. However, instead of this taking place in a personal or original space, it occurs in one of the most generic settings that one can think of. In fact, while describing this scene the author even writes, “Everything about the restaurant is anonymous and interchangeable. And almost every seat is filled” (Murakami 5). The way that Murakami points out the impersonal being one of the most popular settings is very unique.
In this day and age its difficult to find many places that aren’t created to be exactly like Denny’s: impersonal, anonymous, and interchangeable. Almost anywhere one goes to eat, buy food, get clothing, is a part of a larger chain that dictates it be identical to every other store of its kind. However, these are also the places that personal interactions occur every day, and Murakami does an excellent job of highlighting how much of every person’s life is played out in a setting that could not be more generic.