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Lupo: When the Emperor Was Divine

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Christopher Lupo

on 12 May 2011

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Transcript of Lupo: When the Emperor Was Divine

When the EMPEROR Was Divine By Julie Otsuka Likes What I Liked What I Didn't Like The book is fairly short and is a quick read.
The story is told from the point of view of common and simple minded people, regular folk. This gives us a sense the novel is about the characters and the emotions they experienced rather than politics.
The characters are never named. I felt this was a creative way to display the characters
The last part was confusing. Was this a real happening? Who was speaking? How was this related to any other part of the novel?
I felt the last part was unneeded Will this Become a Classic ?
The author is new and unknown.
the book is short and the plot is extremely slow and sombering
The last part weakens the essence of the non-political dialect. I don’t believe this will become a classic Characterization Protagonists Antagonists Round Characters Flat Chatacters The protagonists are the unnamed family members
Throughout the novel the family is shown to be the helpless soul who only wants to be left alone.The family is always the victim of unfair judgment and punishment. Everyone but the unnamed family.
The government is imprisoning American citizens without trial.
Some people throw rocks at the train on the way to the camp because Japanese fill the cars.
When the family returns from the camp the town people ignore them and are unfriendly as they once were.
Everyone but the family act against the family by taking away the good life and the dream of being left alone from the family. Father Townspeople Before the father was taken away he was a vibrant, lovable, and playful husband and father.
After he was released from custody and returned home he was a changed man.
He lost his sense of joy and he seemed disconnected from what happened around him. He was no longer the father who was always their for his family. Before the family was in the camp the towns people treated them like regular American citizens. They conversed, went to each others’ houses, and felt comfortable being with each other.
However, the towns people acted very differently when the family returned.
The people felt the Japanese were something to be avoided once they returned. The family was completely ignored by their friends. The family wasn’t welcome back to their home. The only characters who didn’t much were the children.
In the beginning they were energetic, curious, acted like children, and thought like children.
When they returned home they never lost their sense of hope towards people. They were still optimistic and joyful children. They didn’t lose their sense of being a naïve and curious children. Plot Elements Structure Types of Conflicts Climax Evacuation Order No. 19- accounts for the period of preparing to leave for the camps
Train- accounts for the train ride to the camp
When the Emperor Was Divine- accounts for the period of living in the camp
In a strangers backyard- accounts for the period of when the family is back home and the father returns
Confession- accounts for the period where supposedly the father is supposedly being interrogated by the FBI; however, this is uncertain The Novel is Divided into 5 sections Man v. Society Basically, same as the theme.
The government and townspeople, society, are shown to be acting against the family, protagonist man. Man v. Nature Man v. Nature is a conflict during the families stay at the camp.
Many times the weather was acting against the occupants of the camp. The amount of sand and the extreme weather changes were mentioned several rimes. One could make an argument that there isn’t a climax, time just seems to go on.
The plot leaves the reader waiting for something big to happen but it never really comes
However, near climax’s include: the reuniting of the father, when the family is back home, and the moment the interment camp is seen. About the Author When the Emperor Was Divine is Julia Otsuka’s first novel
Born May 15, 1962
Graduated from Yale in 1984 with a B.A. in art
Was accepted into the University of Indiana’s Master of Fine Arts program. However she quit and left Indiana.
Having accepted her painting career as a failure she eventually worked her way into the University of Columbia’s MFA program for creative writing. She graduated in 1999
While at Columbia she wrote the majority of When the Emperor Was Divine and the hardcover version was published in 2002.
Otsuka’s grandfather, grandmother, and mother where sent to internments camps. When the Emperor Was Divine Works Cited “When the Emperor Was Divine.” Mostly Fiction Book Reviews. 31 Oct. 2002. 3 Jan. 2011. <http://www.mostlyfiction.com/west/otsuka.htm>
“Simmering Perfection.” Goldsea. n.d. 3 Jan. 2011. <http://www.goldsea.com/Personalities/Otsukaj/otsukaj.html>
“When the Emperor Was Divine.” Book Browse. n.d. 3 Jan. 2011. <http://www.bookbrowse.com/reviews/index.cfm/book_number/1084/When-The-Emperor-was-Divine>
“When the Emperor Was Divine.” Review & React. n.d. 4 Jan. 2011. <http://www.reviewandreact.com/store/pdetails592.php> Themes The major theme is the effect of racism and stereotyping.
From beginning to end the novel chronicles the struggle of a normal Japanese American family through a time where racism was at a climax in WW2.
Otsuka is making a claim that racism is born of irrational thinking a fear of insecurity.
Non Japanese Americans display racist behavior and thoughts because they are thinking irrationally as a result of a perceived threat such as the Japanese people in general. Motifs Sand Animals While the family was in the internment camp sand was mentioned several times. Was often characterized as a pest, something which couldn’t get rid of.
Sand can symbolize the idea that racism and prejudice will always exist no matter what you do.
Similar to the real life experience of the annoyance of sand being everywhere and there’s nothing that can be done about removing all of it. Animals appear frequently: horses, pet dog, pet turtle
The brother dreams of wild mustang horses- dreams of freedom and power
The mother kills a pet dog before they depart to the camp- hints things will never be the same
The brother adopts a pet turtle at the camp- displays freedom is lost
The appearance of animals may symbolize degrees of freedom at the points in time Point of View The majority is told in third person except the last part which is first person. However, each part is told from the perspective of a different family member.
This is done add depth to thoughts, feelings, and attitudes.
Part 1- The mother- to communicate the practical and cold hard way of thinking
Part 2- The sister- show give a feeling of energy and exitement
Part 3-4- The brother- to give a sense of naïve cognition and highlight the stupidity of prejudice and racism.
Part 5- The father- to give the perspective of a strong heart and will gone mad Plot Summary Based on real events during the period of WW2 when Japanese living in America were sent to internment camps
A families father is snatched from their house at night to be held for questioning by the FBI.
After seeing evacuation order 19 the Japanese mother, never named, prepares her son, daughter, and herself to go to an unknown place.
They family ends up in a camp filled with other japanese on a dried up lake in Utah After more than 2 years of living in a prison like camp the family is allowed to return home.
They are lucky to find their home unoccupied, but it is empty and all the furniture is gone. They haven’t reunited with their father yet.
They find the town is a vary different place from what they remembered. They now knew things weren’t ever going to go back to normal
The father returns and he’s aged considerably to the point where his children don’t recognize him. Also, he’s not as vibrant and childlike as the family remembered him.
The story ends with the children looking for a lost rosebush that belonged to their mother

http://www.bookmice.net/darkchilde/japan/camp.html http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Manzanar_Flag.jpg http://www.howstuffworks.com/world-war-ii/japanese-internment-camp.htm/printable http://www.iamthewitness.com/doc/Roundup.htm http://students.stlawu.edu/theweave/index.php?option=com_myblog&show=Japenese-Internment-Camps-Japanese-Latinos.html&Itemid=32 http://www.epodunk.com/top10/diaspora/japanese-internment-camps.html http://bakati.com/s~q-japanese%20internment%20camps%20bunks.aspx http://members.iinet.net.au/~vanderkp/tjideng.html
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