David Guterson's Snow Falling on Cedars Essay

David Guterson's Snow Falling on Cedars Essay

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David Guterson's Snow Falling on Cedars


Snow Falling on Cedars, a novel written by David Guterson, depicts the struggles that many Japanese-Americans faced in our country throughout World War II. Though the events and characters in this novel are fictional, the manor in which they were treated was not. Ever since the tragedy of December 7, the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Japanese people throughout the United States were seen as traitors through the eyes of Americans. Every Japanese, whether or not they were a natural born citizen or an illegal alien, were all treated as a possible threat to the safety and well being of the United States. Kabuo Miyamoto, the Japanese American put on trial for murder, had endure this harsh reality of racism that plagued his town and saturated the court system giving him no chance for a fair and just trial.

On the morning of December 7, 1941, the surprise bombing of Pearle Harbor violently awoke America causing great uproar throughout its nation. With all of America hating the then called, “Japs,” it made certain that no other Japanese person either from Japan or from our own soil, got a chance to do any further damage to our already crippled country. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Executive Order in February of 1942, which gave De Witt the power to round up over 112,000 Japanese Americans, over half of whom where U.S. citizens by birth (Manzanar 2). These Americans were forced to leave everything behind taking only what they could carry. They were sent to one of the ten concentration camps established throughout the United States. They were constructed in remote areas between the Sierra Nevada Mountains and the Mississippi River (Relocation 1). The United States governme...


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...treated as enemies in their own country just because of their family background. Just as these Japanese Americans were considered guilty by race, so was Kabuo Miyamoto. His Japanese background alone was enough to convince the island of San Piedro of his guilt. Kabuo Miyamoto had to endure this harsh reality of racism that plagued his town and saturated the court system giving him no chance for a fair and just trial.

Work Cited

Guterson, David. Snow Falling On Cedars. New York: Vintage Books, 1995.

Manzanar. “America’s Concentration Camp.” February 1942.
http://members.aol.com/EARTHSUN/Manzanar.html.

P.B.S. “Conscience and Constitution.” July 2000.
http://www.pbs.org/conscience/the_story/characters/akutsu_jim.html.

Relocation of Japanese Americans. “War Relocation Authority.” May 1943.
http://www.sfmuseum.otg/hist10/relocbook.html.

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