David Guterson's Snow Falling on Cedars: Racism in the Law Essay
Throughout history mankind as a whole has been afraid of things that were different. This is especially true in a world so rich in racial diversity. People are afraid of those who look different, speak different, or act differently than they do. The award-winning novel Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson shows just how difficult it can be to live in a society that discriminates against those who are different and stereotyped based on other people’s actions. Having a father as a lawyer and gaining inspiration from Harper Lee’s award winning novel To Kill a Mockingbird Guterson was able to make a very accurate reenactment of a trial of a Japanese-American in the time …show more content…
“Almost every Japanese family in the U.S. is a member of a “Ken,” or clan. They are linked in an association; its hidden control is in the hands of one of Japan’s top-flight spies. Driven by their own well-nurtured patriotism and apparently unmolested by the government they are plotting against, their part in the anticipated triumph appears to be well prepared” (High 14-15).
Some spies were secretly resident in America, but it was the widespread belief that almost every Japanese-American was a saboteur. Time magazine went as far as to print a guide on how to tell a Chinese from a Japanese man because at the time China was an ally of the United States.
“Those who know them best often rely on facial expression to tell them apart; the Chinese expression is likely to be more placid, kindly, open; the Japanese more positive, dogmatic, arrogant. Japanese are nervous in conversation, laugh loudly at the wrong time. Japanese walk stiffly erect, hard-heeled.