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Ishmael Chambers's intellectual transformation in Snow Falling on Cedars

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  • Essay length: 697 words
  • Submitted: 20/08/2003
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GCSE David Guterson

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Ishmael Chambers's intellectual transformation in Snow Falling on Cedars

Ishmael Chambers, the protagonist of the novel Snow Falling on Cedars, goes through an amazing intellectual change by the end of the novel. Factors leading to this change include his relationship with Hatsue during his childhood and his rejection by her during his teen years, his involvement in Kabuo's trial, his brief but horrific experience in World War II, his father who's a role model for him, and the prejudiced society. He transforms from an idealistic and optimistic boy from his childhood and early teen years to a bitter and resentful man after the war and finally into a strong, practical hero in the end.

During his childhood, Ishmael was an imaginative and naïve boy who was close to his father Art Chambers, a respected newspaperman. He helped out his father once in a while with the newspaper. In addition he has an intense relationship with Hatsue Imada, a Japanese American born in San Piedro. They both go to the same school and have deep, passionate feelings about San Piedro and particularly the cedar tree where they meet each other often. In fact, Ishmael was obsessed

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