It is no easy task to create a work – through writing or film – that has an impact on society. In writing, one must discuss and analyze a relevant topic that will have an impact on the readers. One must also present stunning sensory images through words in order to create a complete understanding for the reader. In filmmaking it is not much different, but there must be striking visual imagery in combination with a fitting musical score in order to give the viewer of the film the full experience. There must also be historical accuracy, both in writing and film. In either case, it can take years to create such a captivating piece of work. David Guterson’s novel Snow Falling on Cedars and its cinematic counterpart of the same name combine all of the aspects of good writing and filmmaking to create an emotionally provocative and historically accurate masterpiece.
The story of Snow Falling on Cedars was set on a fictional island called San Piedro, somewhere in the Puget Sound area. The island had a thick history of generations of prejudice disguised by immigrant strawberry farmer life. The island was home to descendents of German, Swedish, English, and Japanese ancestry. When the Second World War arose, the people immediately panicked and reacted poorly to the Japanese American citizens. The story follows the lives of these Japanese Americans through their painful internment by the American government for what they termed the ‘good of the union.’ The story is also centered on several other subplots, including a biracial romance between a young couple, as well as the death of a white island fisherman named Carl Heine, Jr., and the trial of the Japan…
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…racy and leads the reader or viewer to develop an intense emotional involvement with the story line. Both the novel and the film are remarkably vivid with the use of imagery and theme. The snow falling upon the cedars, as the prevalent image in both versions, functions as a beautiful metaphor begging for interpretation. The themes about the complexities of the human heart and the random distribution of both good and bad fortune are reinforced throughout the entirety of each work. The original work of pure genius – the novel, of course – deserves the credit for the incredible story behind Snow Falling on Cedars, but it is clear that the film followed in its antecedent’s path with ease.
Guterson, David. Snow Falling on Cedars. New York: Vintage Books, 1995.
Snow Falling on Cedars. Screenplay by Ron Bass and Scott Hicks, Universal Pictures, 1999.
Free Macbeth Essays: The Importance of Guilt
The Importance of Guilt in Macbeth
Through the story guilt motivates Macbeth and Lady Macbeth to a great extent. Macbeth was a kind, fine nobleman of the king Duncan. But one day his benevolence and his patronage to the king changed. He had met the three witches who had revealed the three prophecies. The first prophecy was that Macbeth would become the thane of Cawdor. The second prophecy is that he will become the king in the future. The third was that Banquo’s sons will also become kings in the future (Banquo is a good friend of Macbeth). Macbeth took his future into his own hands. Lady Macbeth was the own who encouraged and persuaded Macbeth into the horrible circumstances. Guilt plays a role to the couple differently at certain occasions.
Guilt encircles Macbeth the night he killed King Duncan. He came back to his wife with a horrified expression on his face. “This is a sorry sight”(Act2 scene2 line 20), he told her. . “A foolish thought, to say a sorry sight”, Lady Macbeth was thunderstruck to his remark. She had no sense of guilt right then. He couldn’t believe what he had done, what he got himself into. The sons of the king, Malcolm and Donalbain, were in the next room. “There’s one did laugh in ‘s sleep, and one cried, “Murder!” That they did wake each other”. I stood and heard them. But they did say their prayers, and addressed them Again to sleep. But wherefore could not I pronounce “Amen”? I had most need of blessing, and “Amen” Stuck in my throat.” Macbeth had heard them say their prayers He was in fear. He was stunned and in shock that he had killed someone like King Duncan.
Guilt surrounds Macbeth for the second time when he sends out the murderers to kill Banquo, his old friend. Macbeth had no other choice but to get rid of Banquo. Banquo had witnessed the three witches and the prophecies. One prophecy was that his son would become king one day “To make them kings, the seeds of Banquo kings”(Act3 scene1 line70). In order for Macbeth to be safe is to kill Banquo. Banquo may assume what had happened and tell the people of Scotland. “For Banquo’s issue have I filed my mind; for them the gracious Duncan have I murdered; Put rancors in the vessel of my peace only for them, and mine eternal jewel”.