Racial Prejudice in David Guterson's Snow Falling on Cedars Essay

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Racial Prejudice in David Guterson's Snow Falling on Cedars

'It's not one ocean,' said Hatsue. 'It's four oceans...They're different from each other.'
'Well how are they different?'
'They just are.' (Guterson 97).

Snow Falling on Cedars, David Guterson's award winning novel, is set on an island in Puget Sound in the early 1950's. It is a story of the racial prejudice that was felt so strongly against Japanese Americans immediately before, during and after WWII. Kabuo Miyamoto, the man accused of murdering Carl Heine, would never have received a fair trail, had it not been for Ishmael's late introduction of crucial evidence and Judge Fielding's morally right choice. That Kabuo never stood a chance of getting a fair trial
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He writes how "Most of the faces showed little to no emotion, but conversations on every side emphasized the adventurous nature of the evacuation movement" ("Japanese" 21). In trying to make light of the situation, the author tries to draw attention to things that make people happy when speaking of the relocation event. He writes of the people "... assembling long before daylight near the Pacadena Rose Bowl, scene of many a great football game" ("Japanese" 21). The simple fact that is seen in this article is that when a society will allow the government to forcibly relocate hundreds of thousands of people just because they look like the enemy, there is no way that on of these enemy-look-alikes would ever stand a chance of getting a fair trial. This is why Kabuo never stood a chance of getting a fair trial. Even though his trial was occurring more that a decade later, feelings that strong do not die so quickly.

Another historical event that shows the prejudice that was so rampant against Japanese Americans and all minorities is recorded in an article entitled "20,000 for Arizona" which is it self racial biased. "Twenty thousand alien and Japanese citizens will be moved to the Colorado River Indian Reservation at Parker, Ariz., in the first extensive relocation..." ("20,000" 21). Not only does the simple fact that these people are
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