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Snow Falling on Cedars
Transcript of Snow Falling on Cedars
CONFLICT SETTING San Piedro Island The Courthouse The Cedar Woods Carl Heine Hatsue Imada Ishmael Chambers Kabou Miyamoto QUOTES SYMBOLISM THEME 1."Everything was conjoined by mystery and fate, and in his darkened cell he meditated on this. . . . He would have to . . . accept that the mountain of his violent sins was too large to climb in this lifetime."(p.169)
2.“Everything else is ambiguous. Everything else is emotions and hunches. At least the facts you can cling to; the emotions just float away.”(p.345)
3.“There are things in this universe that we cannot control, and then there are the things we can. . . . Let fate, coincidence, and accident conspire; human beings must act on reason.”(p.418)
The struggle between free will and chance
The cynical nature of prejudice
The limits of knowledge The Cedar trees
Ishmeal's camera Like Carl Heine, Kabuo is a victim of fate.
A conscientious man, Kabuo feels guilty about killing Germans in World War II, even though he was merely doing his duty as a soldier. He had, after all, chosen to serve his country out of a desire to prove his loyalty.
Though he is innocent of killing Carl Heine, Kabuo does not feel self-pity about his wrongful imprisonment. Rather, he accepts his trial and potential death sentence as a form of cosmic justice for his earlier murders in the war.
In effect, Kabuo puts himself at the mercy of chance because he does not believe in his own right to decide his future. More than any other character in the novel, Hatsue is torn between the demands of two seemingly irreconcilable sets of values.
One set of values support the belief that individuals have the right to be happy and that they can live in a manner unrestrained by the demands imposed by society. The other set of values say that individuals must accept the limitations of their time, place, and culture and try their utmost to fulfill their duty to family and community.
Though these two value systems roughly correspond to the cultural division between the whites and the Japanese, Hatsue is proof that such a simplistic division is impossible and that it is inappropriate to assume that all whites feel one way and all Japanese the other
Her argument with Kabou is similar to the one Ishmael makes in the cedar tree: two people in love should be together no matter what the rest of society demands from them. Carl is considered a major character since he embodies both the best and worst aspects of the white community in San Piedro. A physically strong and hardworking man, Carl is the "ideal citizen".
Carl also exemplifies the frustrating close mindedness of the white residents in the community . He has an unthinkingly and reflexive dislike for people of japanese origin that he kind of grew into.
The importance of his character goes beyond the murder trial and his contradictions when irony comes into play.
Always cold, wet, raining or snowing
Small town Sets the scene of the murder trial
Is tied with symbolism
Demonstrates the overall conditions of the town Is the place where the love affair was able to blossom
Involved with symbolism
Was isolated and secluded a novel by: David Guterson The protagonist
Haunted by the trauma of his past and the expectations of his future.
The rejection by Hatsue his female interest and his brief but horrific experience in world war II left him bitter and resentful.
As a virtual outcast chronicling the lives and events that go on around him, Ishmael plays a role similar to that of the most famous Ishmael of American literature, the narrator of Herman Melville’s Moby Dick. Like Melville’s narrator, Ishmael Chambers watches as his fellow humans are battered by seemingly impersonal forces: war, prejudice, and the fierce winter storm that blankets San Piedro’s cedars in fresh snow.
His stubborn idealism that facts and facts alone should decide one's fate leaves him with the troubling decision of weather or not to come forward with evidence that can prove a man's innocence in the proceeding murder trial.
Ishmael’s challenge throughout the novel is to emerge from his shell, move forward from his painful past, and become a strong leader as his father was before him.
Carl, a fisherman, has been found dead, drowned in his own nets, but with a serious head wound. Was he murdered? Post-war anti-Japanese sentiments are still running high, and a murder suspect is found in the local Japanese-American community in the form of Kabuo, another fisherman, who had a grudge against Carl's family. Ishmael, the small town's newspaperman, may have the information that would acquit Kabuo, but can he ever put his jilted love for Hatsue (Kabuo's wife) aside? Plot Overview About the author David Guterson was born on May 4, 1956, in Seattle, Washington. Guterson first became interested in writing while studying at the University of Washington, from which he earned his bachelor's degree in 1978. Guterson continued writing after taking a job as a high school English teacher on Puget Sound, a job he held for ten years. When he accompanied students on a class trip to see an exhibit about Japanese internment camps, Guterson was inspired to write Cedars. The novel was so successful that he was able to quit his teaching job in 1994 and concentrate on writing. THEME, SYMBOLISM AND
THE IMPORTANCE OF QUOTES PRESENTATION BY:
VICTORIA HERRERA Works Cited
Guterson, David. Snow Falling on Cedars. New York: Vintage, 1995. Print.
IMDb. IMDb.com, n.d. Web. 08 Jan. 2013.
"Snow Falling on Cedars By David Guterson Book Summary." Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson CliffsNotes. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Jan. 2013.
"Snow Falling on Cedars." Enotes.com. Enotes.com, n.d. Web. 08 Jan. 2013.