Snow Falling on Cedars

Topics: Mind, Novel, DreamWorks Pages: 1 (316 words) Published: May 1, 2011
Snow Falling on Cedars

The novel Snow Falling on Cedars by author David Guterson reveals both a tragic love story between two of the main characters, and, on the other hand, the everyday life on a small, secluded island. Within the island of San Piedro, society is formed of individuals, who belong to two different ethnical groups – and with that difference in mind, other, more deeply-rooted matters come to the surface. Although every individual is granted equal rights, not everyone receives the same treatment – the base for this discrepancy being racial belonging and skin color. Snow Falling on Cedars successfully recreates an image of an isolated island, continually bashed by the forces of nature. Mostly being the home of fishermen, San Piedro has only brought hardships for its locals and has left them with a feeling of bitterness. “San Piedro was an island of five thousand damp souls, named by lost Spaniards who moored offshore in the year 1603.“ And because of the island‘s remoteness, everyday life seems to be accompanied by morbid thoughts and hostility. Aside from that, an ever-present barrier separates the two communities on the island – that of the American and the Japanese. An existing tension between the two cultural groups is furthered by a suspicious murder case – and ofcourse, the Japanese, as a minority, are the ones to blame. Intolerance and prejudice play a major role in the course of the novel, since the Japanese are seen as a threat to the social balance. An atmosphere of disdain towards the “Japs“ is felt; the horrors of the war are not yet forgotten. Hate and mistrust build throughout the story, leading to immoral and injust actions, targeted to humiliate and submit the Japanese community. They are thought of as inferior, fully secluded and disregarded. A watchful eye is always kept on them – mistrust and fear being the prime motives
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