• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

On its simplest level, "Snow Falling on Cedars" is a murder mystery with all the intrigue and drama of a courtroom thriller.

Extracts from this document...


By: Neehal Mooruth 11A On its simplest level, "Snow Falling on Cedars" is a murder mystery with all the intrigue and drama of a courtroom thriller. The main plot begins with a murder and within the main plot Scott Hicks weaves a series of subplots. It's a story of friendship and a courtroom drama of players like pawns on the chessboard of life. The visceral and cinematic approach used in the film pierces one's senses with a rich tale of love, betrayal, prejudice and honour. The movie, "Snow Falling on Cedars" is set in the 1950's on San Pedro Island, with a local Japanese fisherman named Kazuo Miyamoto (Rick Yune) being tried for the murder of another man, Carl Heine (Eric Thal). One foggy night, while Carl was out on his boat, the "Susan Marie" a dense fog enveloped his boat. He called for help. His friend Kazuo Miyamoto docked near him and offered to recharge his battery. However, the next morning, Carl's lifeless body was discovered entangled in his own nets. Kazuo a Japanese American is accused of the murder, him having been at the scene of the crime but a few minutes earlier. ...read more.


This is not your ordinary love triangle. This story examines the path that prejudice can take as the plot unfolds. As children they showed a love that was innocent, childlike and deep and it was a love that nobody could break. But during the era of prejudice they couldn't show any affection to one another in public. From small they lived in an era of racial conflicts and prejudices. The Americans were always the superior class and the Japanese were the under dogs, as they worked on the strawberry farms picking strawberries. Thus they were forced to hide among the cedar trees, run in the rain when no one else was around, and play along the desolate ocean's shore. From al little girl, Hatsue was taught and compelled by her mother to find and marry a Japanese man, and due to these family pressures she couldn't be seen with Ishmael. That is why they always met in secret and hid between the cedar trees not to reveal their relationship to the public, as both Hatsue's parents and Ishmael's parents would disapprove. ...read more.


This symbolized that Hatsue was a great part of his life and she completed him and now that she has left him he had lost a part of himself. He unfortunately saw the consequences of their relationship if it continued but still was arrogant and wished to continue. As the movie continued Ishmael still carried the grudge against Hatsue for inexplicably ending their relationship because he is overwhelmed and overcome by his emotions. At the same time, memories of his dead father, Arthur one of the most respected men in the community and a pillar of integrity, haunts his thoughts. He remembers and understands his father's words, "journalism is making choices". It's only after he embraces his father's values is he able to find peace. Ishmael then revealed the new evidence and Kazuo was then declared innocent, at the same time Ishmael let go of Hatsue but he still held her close to his heart. I personally believe "Snow Falling on Cedars" is a poignant and beautifully haunting tale of love and murder, which will stand the test of time and be enjoyed by generations to come. The words of the judge (James Cromwell) are food for thought: "accident rules every part of the universe except maybe the chambers of the human heart". ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE David Guterson section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE David Guterson essays

  1. Both Scott Hicks's film Snow Falling on Cedars and Peter Hoeg's novel Miss Smilla's ...

    and Hoeg reveals this intuition in stark contrast with other characters who rely on religion or the fire of ambition. Hoeg's references throughout the novel to religion and maths (Smilla constantly refers to "irrational number systems"2)

  2. 'The death of a fisherman in an Island community can test present passions and ...

    Hatsue understands the deeply ingrained racial and cultural divide between herself and Ishmael. In a metaphorical conversation at the beach, she declares 'oceans don't mix...they're different from each other'8. Prejudices in the novel are not restricted to racial discrimination, and other divisions within the community are depicted.

  1. Choose characters and examine how they have been presented in the novel thus far ...

    Guterson portrays Carl as a physically strong, hardworking man; Carl is San Piedro's ideal citizen. He toils for his family's welfare, keeps to himself, and ha largely put the trauma of the war behind him. In these respects, Carl is superior to Ishmael and the respect that Guterson builds up

  2. In David Guterson's novel, "Snow Falling on Cedars" the author seeks to raise the ...

    His realisation occurs as result of a heated discussion, with the man later accused of his murder, concerning seven acres of land, which the accused man claimed ownership of.

  1. How Does Guterson Present Ishmael.

    and that the cold weather is forcing him to remember his past, when he fought in the war. The courtroom and the storm are similar, however Ishmael does not understand why everybody is more interested in the weather, rather than a murder trial.

  2. How does nature shape this novel?

    It relates to Kabuo, who can only sit and watch, powerless, as his fate is decided- like humans watching a storm. These, and many previous points, relate to the fight between nature and humans; weather is natural, and cannot be altered.

  1. Snow Falling on Cedars is often characterised as "a novel of place." What are ...

    They frequently go to the forest, where there is a hollow cedar tree that "they'd played in together when they were only nine years old." When Ishmael begins to develop serious feelings for Hatsue, he follows her home from the strawberry fields one day and she leads him to this tree.

  2. Examine Guterson's Presentation Of Character & Setting In Chapters 1-7 Of 'Snow Falling On ...

    'Fisk's Hardware Center.... Lottie Opsvig's apparel shop.' Guterson is careful not to provide the reader with a narrow perception of the setting and he spends an equal amount of time describing the beauty of the surrounding landscape. He refers to the town's 'brand of verdant beauty' and writes about the 'Enormous hills, soft green with cedars.'

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work