Internment In Julie Otsuka Novel 'When The Emperor Was Divine'

Good Essays
In 1942, the midterm elections played a profound role in the outcome of how the internment of the Japanese was dealt with. It’s clear to see that the way the situation after Pearl Harbor was handled was not great. President Franklin D. Roosevelt decided to punish the Japanese-Americans that lived in the US by forcing them to abandon everything they owned to live in what were called “relocation camps” in order to keep Americans safe. A question that no one was asking is if in fact the american people were ever in immediate danger? Was there any crime that involved japanese and Americans. These are the types of questions that should have been asked but were not. The different types of propaganda hindered the appearance of the Japanese due to…show more content…
I discussed Roosevelt’s “Executive Order 9033” to lock away the unwanted personnel, while the novel expresses it by showing the readers what really occurred. I feel as if the her words do a great job of exploiting the US’s skeletons that they tried to hide from the public in the years that followed. For example when the Otsuka explains “the signs in the windows were all the same wherever they went they went :NO JAPS ALLOWED. Life was easier, they said, on the other side of the fence.” (Otsuka 67). As Americans we did not see the pain we brought upon these people, all we had in our mind was anger. That anger blinded us from the right and lead us to the wrong without us even realizing what we were doing was wrong. The public turned to the only person that could make any of the actions possible, the President. Needless to say, Roosevelt was under public and political pressure and almost forcibly signed the Executive order to remove and detain Japanese and Japanese-Americans from their homes and businesses. Since at the time President Roosevelt was in his midterm elections, he knew that he had to make a change that would bring his popularity to an all time high. It was strategic and a smart move on his behalf, but in the long run made him
Get Access