David Guterson's Snow Falling on Cedars Essay examples

David Guterson's Snow Falling on Cedars Essay examples

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David Guterson's Snow Falling on Cedars


The early 1940’s were tough times for many Japanese living in America. This is all due to the Japanese and American conflict in World War II, after Japan decided to bomb Pearl Harbor. After this incident many Japanese-Americans were discriminated against and were thought of as bad Japanese instead of the Americans they were. A lot of these Japanese-Americans were unfairly sent to internment camps in the United States. This is also true of the incidents that take place in the fictional novel Snow Falling On Cedars, by David Guterson.

The discrimination all started at about 8:00 AM on December 7, 1941. At this time the Japanese assembled a fleet of planes and attacked Pearl Harbor, which is located off the shore of Hawaii. The Japanese decided to attack the United States because the U.S. enforced an oil embargo against Japan. This attack included a striking force of 353 Japanese aircraft. This was done by total surprise, before there was even a formal declaration of war. This was a well-planned time for the attack seeing how there were about 100 of the United States ships present on that day. At the same time there was an attack on a nearby field. This attack destroyed 18 of the United States aircraft (Pearl 1). During the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor, there were 127,000 people of Japanese decent that were living in America. Many of the Americans began to fear that these people were going to turn on America and help out their country of ancestry. The following quote shows what it was like for many Japanese living in America.

Some 1,500 “enemy aliens” who were thought to have connections with Japan were immediately rounded up and interned by the De...


... middle of paper ...


...s, the eyes of a man hiding something (269).” The Americans judge the Kabuo because of his squinted Japanese eyes. They think that his eyes show that he is hiding his guilt.

The novel Snow Falling On Cedars shows a lot of the same prejudice that was around in the real world during World War II. This book was just a fictional story, but it definitely did deal with the situation of the real world at that time. Hopefully one day all races and ethnicities can unite and live in one place with out prejudice.

Works Cited

Arrington, Leonard. The Price of Prejudice. Logan, Utah: The Faculty Association Utah
State University, 1962

Guterson, David. Snow Falling on Cedars. New York: Vintage Books, 1995
“Korematsu V. US” <http://home.twcny.rr.com/pistolpete/korematsu.html>

“Pearl Harbor: Remembered” <http://www.execpc.com/~dschaaf/overview.html>

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