Timed Writing Prompt
In the novel Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson, Ishmael’s need for catharsis and catharsis itself is powerfully influenced by Hatsue. His emotions upsurge beginning with their childhood love by the ocean side, and because these occurrences happened so early in his childhood, he fell profoundly in love with Hatsue each day. As the two mature, they also grow apart, causing intense heartbreak on Ishmael’s terms.
In the first letter he confesses to Hatsue how he “aches for her to come home” and he states “I’m lonely and miserable and think of you always and hope you write me right away.” Ishmael is desperate for Hatsue’s love and affection. He says without her, he has nothing. Ishmael is selfish and egotistical. Hatsue is in a prison camp where she sleeps in dust and lives around disease, and he is merely thinking of his own security and well-being. He continues his selfishness when Hatsue explains to Ishmael that she can no longer continue their relationship because she is deceiving her parents, his emotions climax; his hatred grows and he cannot contain it. He tells Hatsue “I hate you, Hatsue, I hate you always.” Ishmael burts with pessimistic emotions during the war. He once again writes Hatsue and says he is about to kill as many people as he can that look like her. He says his “numbness is a terrible thing… he was angry at them [japs] and wanted their death.” He contained and expressed significant amounts of hatred. Ishmael means what he says completely, but he cannot get himself to tell Hatsue the truth. At this point when he writes the letter, he crumples up the letter and throws in into the sea along with his notepad. He still loves Hatsue.
Ishmael comes back from the war with all these emotions that he still posseses for Hatsue. He sees her in the grocery store, and even though she is holding her newborn baby, he tells her “I am like a dying person… I haven’t been happy for a single moment since the day you left…...
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