Overwhelmingly the response of people in times of desperation is to survive at all costs and make the best of the situation. American history in the mid 20th century provides vivid example of desperate times such as those who were hit hardest by the era of the depression and also those who were displaced from their homes into Internment camps following World War II and the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Comparing the fictional account of Julie Otsuka's novel, When the Emperor was Divine and the historical accounts of Japanese American women reveals the many different ways in which women handle themselves, not only through the events mentioned, but also through themes that both accounts share such as adversity, prejudice, and perseverance. The novel's account of the evacuation and imprisonment of Japanese American is a subtle and understated retelling of the horrific experience of the Japanese Americans. While the historical accounts describe the evacuation of Japanese Americans as one of the most horrifying experience anyone could have been through.
According to Valerie Matsumoto, author of "Japanese American Women during World War II;" "the bombing of pearl harbor on December 7, 1941, unleashed war between the United States and Japan and Triggered a wave of hostility against Japanese Americans" (7). This hostility led to the signing of Executive Order 9066 by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, "[this order ] arbitrarily suspend[ed] the civil rights of American citizens by authorizing the removal of 110,000 Japanese and their American- Born children from the western half of the Pacific Coastal States and the southern third of Arizona"(Matsumoto 7). The novel When the Emperor Was Divine, by Julia Otsuka is a heartbreaking, bracingly unsentimental poetic and detailed description of the travails of a Japanese family living in an internment camp during World War II, raising the presence of wartime injustice in a bone-chilling fashion.... [continues]
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(2007, 02). Japanese Internment Camps. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 02, 2007, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/Japanese-Internment-Camps-106391.html
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