Essay about David Guterson's Snow Falling on Cedars

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David Guterson's Snow Falling on Cedars

Snow Falling on Cedars, a novel written by David Guterson, depicts the struggles that many Japanese-Americans faced in our country throughout World War II. Though the events and characters in this novel are fictional, the manor in which they were treated was not. Ever since the tragedy of December 7, the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Japanese people throughout the United States were seen as traitors through the eyes of Americans. Every Japanese, whether or not they were a natural born citizen or an illegal alien, were all treated as a possible threat to the safety and well being of the United States. Kabuo Miyamoto, the Japanese American put on trial for murder, had endure this harsh reality of
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The houses these “Relocation Centers” provided for the prisoners were, “tarpaper-covered barracks of simple frame construction without plumbing or cooking facilities of any kind (Relocation 4).” “A family of five or six would normally occupy a single room twenty-five by twenty feet (Relocation 4).” These innocent American civilians were forced to share bathrooms with over 250 other inmates of the camp. The meals served in the mess halls were, “planned at an average cost of not more than 45 cents per person, per day (Relocation 4).” Evacuees, as the government would call the “prisoners”, were employed to run everything in the camp from the mess halls to the farmlands and even the hospitals, getting paid a mere 16 dollars a month for a 44-hour week (Relocation 4).

Manzanar, one of the ten concentration camps established, resided in a remote location with an anhydrous environment. Norman Mineta, a Japanese American who was an evacuee of Manzanar and who later became a California Congressman, recalls the move, “I was 10 years old and wearing my Cub Scout uniform when we were packed onto a train in San Jose…People had to just padlock and walk away from there businesses…We arrived (at Manzanar) in the middle of a blinding snowstorm…When we got to our tarpaper barracks, we found sand coming in though the walls, around the windows, up through the floor (Manzanar 2).” “The camp was surrounded by barbed wire. Guards with machine guns were posted at watch
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