Conflicting Perspectives - Snow Falling on Cedars

Topics: To Kill a Mockingbird, Racism, White people Pages: 4 (993 words) Published: August 8, 2012
When determining ones perspective, you must take into account a person’s cultural, social background as well as their personal experiences along with many other factors. Although these factors are so important, human nature ultimately dictates that bias and self-interest contribute to these perspectives eventuating in conflict with another. These ideals are represented through the character construction and narrative style displayed in David Gutterson’s “Snow Falling On Cedars” and the filmic version of Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird” directed by Robert Mulligan. Body:

A key character in “Snow Falling on Cedars” who represents the ideals of bias and self-interest affecting ones perspective is Etta Heine. Etta Heine’s character has been constructed to represent the strong social and culturally based upbringing she has experienced. Etta’s role as the wife of a white strawberry farm owner colours and creates bias in perspectives towards the role of Kabuo Miyamoto in the death of her son, Car Heine. Etta is highlighted as being extremely racist. This is clearly evident by her furious reaction when Carl Heine Snr, Etta’s deceased husband, enters a contract to sell some of their land to Kabuo’s father Zenhichi.

“You’re the man of the house…..go ahead and sell our property to a Jap”.

After the death of Carl Snr, Etta quickly sells all their land, as well as the Miyamoto’s share to local farmer Ole Jurgensen, whilst the Miyamoto’s are residing in internment camps. Etta is so self-absorbed in her perspective that she doesn’t feel safe associating with the Japanese,

“….we are in a war with them, we can’t have spies around.…”

The high modality language used shows how Gutterson‘s has incorporated literary techniques in order to convey the extreme perspective of Etta Heine, and place the reader in a position to understand her intense emotion. Hyperbole is evident too as Etta’s perspective that all Japanese are spies is effective in also cementing...
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