David Guterson's Snow Falling on Cedars Essay

1068 Words 5 Pages
David Guterson's Snow Falling on Cedars

The early 1940’s were tough times for many Japanese living in America. This is all due to the Japanese and American conflict in World War II, after Japan decided to bomb Pearl Harbor. After this incident many Japanese-Americans were discriminated against and were thought of as bad Japanese instead of the Americans they were. A lot of these Japanese-Americans were unfairly sent to internment camps in the United States. This is also true of the incidents that take place in the fictional novel Snow Falling On Cedars, by David Guterson.

The discrimination all started at about 8:00 AM on December 7, 1941. At this time the Japanese assembled a fleet of planes and attacked Pearl
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They were also “frozen” to within a five-mile radius of their homes and required to be in their homes between the hours of 8 PM and 6 AM (Arrington 3).

During this time of injustice to the Japanese, the Americans were to busy with war to notice that what they were doing was wrong. As the war settled down and the internment camps released their people, the president declared that the unfair treatment of the Japanese was a national mistake.

There was also prejudice in the judicial system during this time. One example is shown in the case of Korematsu V.S. United States. This case was about a Japanese-American named Korematsu who didn’t want to go to his internment camp. His lawyers complained that it was unconstitutional to take people out of their homes and put them in internment camps solely on the basis of their race. It was noted that other so called enemy allies lie Italians and Germans had not been relocated (Korematsu 1). The verdict was that in this circumstance, the government was allowed to deny the Japanese their constitutional rights. This decision was prejudice only against the Japanese looks. The Japanese must have looked more dangerous than the Italians and Germans, and therefore they were the only ones to be treated so unfairly and have their
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