An Analysis Of Julie Otsuka 's ' When The Emperor Was Divine '

827 Words Sep 3rd, 2015 4 Pages
When the Emperor was Divine The internment of thousands of Japanese families and people in general was a symbol of not only the oppression of a mass of people but also of the growing trend throughout the ages of the same type of war-time oppression. Throughout history, people have been being taken forcibly from their homes and placed in precarious and quite uncomfortable situations just for the sake of people’s “safety”. Although, it was typically only in times of war, it still had an impact on people even after their return from internment camps. Julie Otsuka shows this effect of oppression on a mass of people in her novel, When the Emperor was Divine. The novel is based in World War Two in Berkeley, California. This is prominent because the family of main characters is a Japanese family in America at the time of World War Two. This becomes a main issue because at that time approximately 120,000 Japanese people in the United States were taken into internment camps and were suspected to be spies. War-time oppression becomes a big theme throughout the novel in a sense that the family is put through this situation with their father and husband being taken away and put in jail because it was simple-mindedly assumed that he was a spy just because of his race. This wasn’t just the case for this family; it was the case for most families of Japanese Americans because of the time period they were in. The tension behind all of these issues was based around the crisis that was…

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