Analysis Of David Guterson's Snow Falling On Cedars, And East Of Eden

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The United States has had a reputation for being a country with racial diversity and tolerance. Throughout the years, the United States has been overall proud of the racial diversity. The country’s foundation was built upon the work of immigrants. However, as history shows, the the United States has treated incoming immigrants, and Americans of a different racial background in horrific manners. Throughout the years, people of a non white lineage are seen as the minority of a power thirsty country. David Guterson’s Snow Falling on Cedars, and John Steinbeck’s East of Eden, depicts the traditional, ever-so-proud, American society. Each writer portrays the life of characters who are of a racial minority in a setting where the white-race is dominant, …show more content…
Hatsue and Kabuo, although American citizens, are seen as terrorist in society’s eyes. The label “Jap” becomes etched within their skin as they grow up being unaccepted by the community. Hatsue’s reaction towards being defined as a“Jap” leads her to question her moral standings. “‘Nobody knows who they are now…’ Hatsue knew immediately that her mother was right.” (Guterson 201). She struggles with her duty to follow familial expectations, and her instinct to become socially accepted. This leads her to question her identity which causes havoc in the midst of her life. The demeaning comments affect Kabuo in a different manner. Instead of questioning who he is, he reassures his notion of what it means to be Japanese. Kabuo accepts his label and holds an internal anger towards the community. “‘They hate anyone who looks like the soldiers they fought. That’s what I’m doing here.’”(Guterson 391). Kabuo holds resentment towards the community due to the history of treatment of the neighboring Japanese community, while still maintaining his dignity of being Japanese. There is no shame in his culture, he holds shame with the American population as most of the citizens cannot see past appearance. However, throughout his trial he acknowledges that the term “Jap” automatically defines his persona which leads to a

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