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

Snow Falling On Cedars - How does Ishmaels(TM) experience of war influence his character and behaviour in the novel as a whole? Look closely at language and imagery

Extracts from this document...


English coursework - Snow Falling on Cedars "Ishmael explained matters to two dozen boys..." p218 to the end of the chapter on page 220. How does Ishmaels' experience of war influence his character and behaviour in the novel as a whole? Look closely at language and imagery. The character of Ishmael Chambers throughout 'Snow Falling on Cedars' is one referred to for many reasons. One of these reasons is that his character and behaviour throughout the novel have been influenced directly by his experience of war in World War II. The passage I will use to explain the reasons for Ishmaels characteristics is one that shows his harsh experience of war, and therefore the reasons why his character is bitter and resentful. Guterson uses vernacular language throughout this passage to create a sense of realism and immediacy. Ironically, the vernacular language in this passage is used by Ishmael as he is describing the Japanese. Phrases such as "Fucking Japs" shows that whereas Ishmael had a romance with Hatsue - a Japanese girl - in his childhood, his experience of war has stopped him accepting the Japanese race, and instead has made him racist and prejudice against them. ...read more.


This harsh language shows his self hatred, and his continuous bitterness because of the war. The futility of war is a key theme in this passage, and Ishmael carries the fatal outlook throughout the novel. "There was no point to anything, that was clear" and "He died ten minutes before the bearers came around to take him down to surgery" are both examples of the futility of war, and Ishmael continues to dwell on this as the novel goes on. This is supported with the prosaic tone of the novel and the detached narrative it is reported in shows the hardening and coldness of the soldiers. An example of this is the cataloguing of dead soldiers by one of Ishmaels troops, "Jim Harvey, and that guy Hedges...and Murray and Behring". This quotation shows the reality of war, contrasting with the belief that it is a smooth military execution. This shock of reality means Ishmael becomes cold and insular, and this is noticed by other characters in the novel, such as his mother. ...read more.


arm, Kabuo and Hatsue for being Japanese, and from Art Moran who feels he is in the wrong profession, and that he doesn't belong in his role as Sherriff. The futility of war, shown by the prosaic tone of this passage, shows the reasons that Ishmael adopts a fatalistic attitude towards life. It is because of the fatalities he sees when fighting that he has a grim outlook of life, and this runs throughout the novel. In Snow Falling on Cedars, the war that Ishmael fights in shapes him into a colder, harder, and more cynical and withdrawn character. He is less able to communicate with people because of his experiences, and this is shown throughout the novel, as well as in this passage. War causes Ishmael to lose his faith in religion, and see it as a "pathetic falsehood", showing his cynicism. He becomes more prejudice, and refers to the Japanese as "fucking Japs", instead of the equal race in San Piedro that he loved when he was a young boy. 1030 words total. ?? ?? ?? ?? Lauren Metalle 12FO ...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 Miscellaneous 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 Miscellaneous essays

  1. Brother Sebastian in the novel Lamb by Bernard Mac Laverty

    In the novel the weather is used to show when things are going well and when things are going bad. When Michael's money starts to disappear the weather around them becomes poor with wind and rain. The reader easily notices the technique used and naturally become tensed.

  2. Adrian Mole Chapter Notes

    May 18th Adrian's grandmother is not speaking to her son because of the milk jug, Adrian can't wait to get back home. May 19th Adrian' father got in trouble for staying out too late. Adrian had to tell his father about Barry beating him up as his blazer was torn.

  1. Examine Guy de Maupassant’s narrative skills

    does this for several nights until Semillante can't take it any more "Maddened with hunger Semillante barked hoarsely." After one more day with no food Widow Saverini comes into the yard and creates a large man like figure made from some old rags, some clothes that belonged to her husband and straw to stuff them with.

  2. How Does Jane Austen Present Mr Collins in Pride and Prejudice? What is His ...

    There are many vital differences between Lizzie and Charlotte, which Elizabeth does not see at first- which leads to her obvious shock of Charlotte's acceptance of Mr Collins. Charlotte is pragmatic where Lizzie is romantic, thus when Mr Collins asks her to marry him she accepts.

  1. the outsider

    Following that incident I lost my reputation as 'the best in town' which is what some had said. This resulted in not acquiring any business for months. That was when I turned. Gambling was a popular pass time in America, and one of my friends had won a huge sum of money.

  2. The Fatal Mistake

    She wasn't hurt much, she was just in shock. Her father took her to the hospital and within an hour she was fine as before. When she regained consciousness, she searched for Mala. Mala stood beside her with a trophy in her hand. "So Ms. Singer, how are you feeling?", she asked. "I am fine", she managed to mutter.

  1. How does Rees use Language to Make the Reader Empathise with Mary?

    This is a key part of the story, and is carried through the story. It makes the reader empathise with Mary because her grandmother is her only family, and the only one that has ever cared for her, so when she is taken away it would have been very upsetting.

  2. The Whole Town's Sleeping, Lavinia Nebbs

    Goose pimples began to appear all over her temporarily immobile body. She opened her mouth as to speak, frightened at the same time. "What, what, who are you?" she babbled, her words only just managing to escape from her cold-blue lips.

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