The book Snow Falling on Cedars is about a Japanese man Kabuo Miyanmoto who is on trial for murder. He is accused of murdering a white man, Carl Heine. Much of the story is told through the memories of various characters. It is set in the 1050’s in Puget Sound on a fictional island called San Piedro. I think Snow Falling on Cedars was an excellent book.
I felt that the author was able to present an unbiased view of the internment of Japanese-Americans during WWII. He presented many diverse viewpoints of this period of time and explained why they thought the way they did. For example, Kabuo Miyamoto, the defendant, had fought with the US army in WWII. Kabuo was deeply affected by his experience in the war, and it changed his perspective of the world. On the other hand, Carl Heine’s mother, Etta, is extremely prejudiced against the Japanese, She feels that all of the “dirty Japs” as she calls them, are lazy and untrustworthy. She judges all Japanese people by their race. The author also represents the American friends of the Japanese. Etta’s husband was friends with Kabuo’s father, and when the family was sent to an internment camp, he offered to take care of their land. However, when he died, Etta sold the land to someone else. By including all these different viewpoints of that period of time, the reader is given a more complete picture.
Another reason I enjoyed this book was because the characters were flawed, making them more realistic. For instance, the reporter, Ishmael, had a few character flaws. He had fought in the war and had his arm amputated. He had also been in love with Hatsue before she married Kabuo. Therefore, when he found evidence that could exonerate Kabuo, he waited until the very last moment to show it to the judge because he was debating whether or not he should use it. Another flawed character was Kabuo himself. His experiences in the war had made him emotionally distant. When he was in the courtroom, he showed no emotion, even though he could have hanged. He thought that his death would be atonement for the people he killed in the war. The last flawed character is the coroner. He is portrayed as a nice, normal guy. However, after he finishes his autopsy on the victim, he tells the sheriff to look for a “right-handed Jap.
The Stars of Keats and Frost Stars
The Stars of Keats and Frost Although both “Bright Star” by John Keats and “Choose Something Like a Star” by Robert Frost both address a star with a spirit of awe, the first uses formal diction to express a wish while the second uses informal diction and contains a lesson. “Bright Star” contains lofty, formal kinds of words such as “thou art” and “splendor hung aloft” to show reverence toward the star. Keat’s specific word choices also contribute to the theme of the poem that man wishes happiness would last forever. Comparing the star to an eye with “eternal lids apart” brings to mind God, who is connected with eternity and happiness and the sky or heavens. The star is also compared with a hermit wich brings to mind silence, holiness, and solemnity. The word “ripening” connotes life, and the speaker wishes to enjoy the best of life “forever.” Robert Frost’s poem also address a star in the first fifteen lines, but the diction is informal. In plain, ordinary kinds of words, the speaker asks the star to “Say something to us that we can learn/By heart.” The speaker of this poem wants the star to tell the secret of its steadfastness, instead of just wishing to be like the star. Then in the last ten lines, this poem adds a lesson. Although the star seems to give “little aid,” it teaches the speaker “something in the end.” The speaker feels that just thinking of the noble star will help him to be steadfast and not to be swayed easily with the “mob.”