Critical Lens Essay with 1984 and Snow Falling on Cedars

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Martin Luther King Junior stated that, “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” In other words you never really know a true person until they are put in an unwanted, hard situation. A person could state their values and opinions, but you can never really truly know how they feel until they are put in a hard “live or death,” situation. If a man stays true to his values in a time of conflict, then you could truly say that he is a good man inside and out. In Snow Falling on Cedars Kabuo Miyamoto, and in 1984, Winston Smith can both relate to this quote, but in very different ways. I very much agree with what this quote is saying. Anyone can speak and agree, but when it comes to actually acting on your beliefs, that’s the hardest part of all.

In the novel Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson, there are several character that can relate to this quote, some of them did not stay true to the person they claimed to be and other did hold on tight to their beliefs. One of the characters that did stay true to himself in times of hardship was Kabuo Miyamoto. Kabuo is a Japanese American, who even though has Japanese in his blood, is an American. He is a man who always tries to see the best in people. He is a man of tradition and his word. Kabuo, doesn’t care about race or gender, he’s truthful and just. He’s not interested at acting a certain way or caring what people think of him. Kabuo Miyamoto does what he thinks is right. In the novel he pledged his allegiance and loyalty to the United States. He was not Japanese in nationality he was American.

He went through many challenges in his life. There were three significant inconvenient challenges he went through during the course of the novel. These are, being in the internment camp and war, a situation with his family’s land, and lastly the murder trial. Throughout all of these he stayed true to himself and...
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