When The Emperor Was Divine Analysis

1398 Words 6 Pages
Hegemonic narratives are narratives created by people that have dominance over others, while a counter-narrative is a narrative of the marginalized, and the oppressed. The novel When the Emperor was Divine is a counter, historical fiction book written by Julie Otsuka that critiques the hegemonic narrative of WW2. The author writes about a Japanese-American family living in the US during World War 2, that are forced into an incarceration camp in Utah. The main characters of the book all changed their coping mechanisms throughout the book. The mother had the coping mechanism of a turtle during the internment camp, as opposed to her previous coping mechanism of warrior, the boy coped by trying to remain in the past during internment as opposed to his cool composure in the beginning, and the girl coped by rebelling to the system instead of her usual inquisitive personality, which demonstrates the detrimental effects of the incarceration camps.
While the woman has the coping characteristics similar to a warrior in the
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Gone from their carefree view of the world, they were forced to become someone different, be someone different in order to be accepted in the world. The internment camps were nothing like the propaganda that the US government showed everyone. The internment camps weren’t a “migration” not “pioneer camps”. There were no opportunities for them. They were all treated horribly and dehumanized by the US government. They were afraid it could happen again and no one would care to notice and the thing that sucks the most is how many US citizens don’t believe that the internment camps actually happened, nor existed. But I guess that’s what happens in America, when the truth gets too hard or ugly, we hide it, we cover it up, and try to erase it from our history and that’s wrong and that’s why many of our citizens are uninformed about matters like

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