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Critique Of Snow Falling On Cedars Essay, Research Paper

Critique of Snow Falling on Cedars Snow Falling on Cedars, by David Guterson, is a truthful tale about a post World War II trial in whicha Japanese-American fisherman, the first American citizen in his lineage, is accused of killing a well knownAmerican fisherman. The accused is Kabuo Miyomoto; dead is Carl Heine Jr. The book takes place in thesmall town of San Piedro, one of the scenic San Juan Islands in the early 1950s. The relationship of the twomen is deeper than being fellow fisherman. Before the war broke out, Kabuo s father had an agreement tobuy land from Carl s father. With two payments to go the Miyomotos are shipped off to an internment camp,however Carl Heine Sr. tells Zenhichi Miyomoto that the land will be waiting for him when he gets back. Whenthe Miyomotos return, Mr. Heine has died and his widow has sold all the land for a hefty profit. She gives theMiyomotos their money back and buys an apartment in town where she spends the last of her lonely days. Kabuo and Carl both come back from the war to find the land sold. Their once close-knit friendship isshattered by their families disagreement. They both become fishermen. Along with the Kabuo/Carl tensionand subsequent trial is another relationship filled with stress: that of Kabuo s wife Hatsue and her high schoolsweetheart, now local reporter Ishmael Chambers. He cannot get over the loss of their relationship that endedwhen Hatsue was sent to a relocation camp. All of these conflicts are interwoven with the trial that rocks asmall town. The charges against Kabuo are eventually dropped when Ishmael, trying to ensure his love shappiness, brings new evidence to light. The author does a excellent job of writing this book. The imagery that he uses intensifies one smental picture of the story. You can even tell the difference between the imagery he uses in pre-war andpost-war scenes. The pre-war images seem captured in faded, grainy, black and white snapshots: Hatsuemoving quietly through the small town high school in 1940. Ishmael, at dusk the same year, crouched in thestrawberry patch outside her house, watching her hang out the wash. Hatsue s family crowded around theradio for an entire day listening to the news about Pearl Harbor and wondering what would happen to them. By contrast, the 1950s scenes seem to be in harshly lit, cold, stark Technicolor with a dark blue sea, darkgreen cedars, and white snow outside the courthouse windows whose …four tall narrow arches of leadedglass…yielded a great quantity of weak December light. The obvious difference in which Guterson presentedthe post-war trial to the pre-war flashbacks is an ingenious element that makes the book stand out. Theflashbacks are also key in the creation of foreshadowing. As the trial develops, so does the readersknowledge of the interrelationships of the characters. The suspense that is created by these flashback keepsthe reading fast-paced and interesting. The cedar tree is the main symbol that sticks out in the readers mind. For four years before Pearl harbor they explore each other in their special hideout, an enormous cedar tree: The war did not disturb them in their cedar tree, and they continued to view themselves as exceedinglyfortunate in the particulars of their secret existence. Their absorption in one another, the heat of their bodies,their mingling smells and the movements of their limbs—these things shielded them from certain truths. But inthe end, the cedar tree does not prevent the truth from revealing itself. Eventually Hatsue and Ishmael finallycome to terms with their past, as Kabuo stands trial. This book is written with flair as well as intellect. It has anoriginal quality that many books do not. Guterson s hard work and research, all eight years of it, shines

through in this wonderful epic.Critique of Snow Falling on Cedars Snow Falling on Cedars, by David Guterson, is a truthful tale about a post World War II trial in whicha Japanese-American fisherman, the first American citizen in his lineage, is accused of killing a well knownAmerican fisherman. The accused is Kabuo Miyomoto; dead is Carl Heine Jr. The book takes place in thesmall town of San Piedro, one of the scenic San Juan Islands in the early 1950s. The relationship of the twomen is deeper than being fellow fisherman. Before the war broke out, Kabuo s father had an agreement tobuy land from Carl s father. With two payments to go the Miyomotos are shipped off to an internment camp,however Carl Heine Sr. tells Zenhichi Miyomoto that the land will be waiting for him when he gets back. Whenthe Miyomotos return, Mr. Heine has died and his widow has sold all the land for a hefty profit. She gives theMiyomotos their money back and buys an apartment in town where she spends the last of her lonely days. Kabuo and Carl both come back from the war to find the land sold. Their once close-knit friendship isshattered by their families disagreement. They both become fishermen. Along with the Kabuo/Carl tensionand subsequent trial is another relationship filled with stress: that of Kabuo s wife Hatsue and her high schoolsweetheart, now local reporter Ishmael Chambers. He cannot get over the loss of their relationship that endedwhen Hatsue was sent to a relocation camp. All of these conflicts are interwoven with the trial that rocks asmall town. The charges against Kabuo are eventually dropped when Ishmael, trying to ensure his love shappiness, brings new evidence to light. The author does a excellent job of writing this book. The imagery that he uses intensifies one smental picture of the story. You can even tell the difference between the imagery he uses in pre-war andpost-war scenes. The pre-war images seem captured in faded, grainy, black and white snapshots: Hatsuemoving quietly through the small town high school in 1940. Ishmael, at dusk the same year, crouched in thestrawberry patch outside her house, watching her hang out the wash. Hatsue s family crowded around theradio for an entire day listening to the news about Pearl Harbor and wondering what would happen to them. By contrast, the 1950s scenes seem to be in harshly lit, cold, stark Technicolor with a dark blue sea, darkgreen cedars, and white snow outside the courthouse windows whose …four tall narrow arches of leadedglass…yielded a great quantity of weak December light. The obvious difference in which Guterson presentedthe post-war trial to the pre-war flashbacks is an ingenious element that makes the book stand out. Theflashbacks are also key in the creation of foreshadowing. As the trial develops, so does the readersknowledge of the interrelationships of the characters. The suspense that is created by these flashback keepsthe reading fast-paced and interesting. The cedar tree is the main symbol that sticks out in the readers mind. For four years before Pearl harbor they explore each other in their special hideout, an enormous cedar tree: The war did not disturb them in their cedar tree, and they continued to view themselves as exceedinglyfortunate in the particulars of their secret existence. Their absorption in one another, the heat of their bodies,their mingling smells and the movements of their limbs—these things shielded them from certain truths. But inthe end, the cedar tree does not prevent the truth from revealing itself. Eventually Hatsue and Ishmael finallycome to terms with their past, as Kabuo stands trial. This book is written with flair as well as intellect. It has anoriginal quality that many books do not. Guterson s hard work and research, all eight years of it, shinesthrough in this wonderful epic.


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