The protagonists in Haruki Murakami’s works are usually simple, average individuals with routines are certain behavioral traits. In fact, the majority of his stories are built up around characters discussing their idle thoughts and activities to pass the time. By having these characters come across as "simple" and "average" we can understand their feelings with more depth as they are thrown into surreal, ridiculous situations. It can be said that, by making them "boring", we further sympathize and connect with them.
In a way, I don't see these average individuals as the protagonists though. They serve as the medium we see through, showing us a skewed characterisation of the true protagonist of his story. Eg. Sputnik Sweetheart = Sumire seen through 'K'; Norwegian Wood = Naoko and Midori seen through Toru; Wild Sheep Chase = Rat seen through and unnamed character. Each story has this average joe 'protagonist' that we can relate to yet instead of acting as a protagonist they serve as a sort of diegetic narrator. – Peneha6 years ago
Analyse his short stories too (eg. Barn Burning) where the protagonist plays a similar conduit like role where we can identify with them as they experience what Harika does to their world. – Dr. Vishnu Unnithan3 years ago