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University Degree: David Guterson

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  1. "Discus the themes touched upon in the extract and the language used - How relevant is this passage to the rest of the novel?"

    "It goes forever," says Ishmael but there seems to be conflict between the issues "it ends somewhere". "It doesn't end it meets another one and pretty soon the water is back and mixes together" It's the "mixes" part of this quotation that is relevant to the rest of the novel because it brings up the subject of racism. Perspectives of discrimination differ from these two individuals because of their different cultural background. Hatsue is basically the alien in the world of Ishmael's country.

    • Word count: 614
  2. Snow Falling On Cedars - Chapter 1 Essay: Plot, Setting And Character.

    With the help of the narrator, however, the readers get a view into his thoughts. 'he realized now.' Through this use of focalisation the reader learns a little about his thoughts. 'furious wind-whipped flakes against the windows- struck him as infinitely beautiful.' This highlights that he can appreciate nature but there is also a slight indication at anger. The snow may also serve as a metaphor- the fact he cannot feel or touch this beauty represents his isolation from the community because he is an accused man and perhaps (as we later find out) because he is Japanese.

    • Word count: 1158
  3. Both the film 'Snow Falling on Cedars' directed by Scott Hicks and the novel 'The Sea and Poison' written by Shusaku Endo embody and expose issues of racism and give the reader or audience a sense of the consequences of such hatred in different ways.

    What is race? The article titled 'Race' by B. Ashcroft (1998 p. 198) mentions that "race is a term for the classification of human beings into physically, biologically and genetically distinct groups." It also mentions that "the notion of race assumes, firstly that humanity is divided into unchanging natural types, recognisable by physical features that are transmitted 'through the blood' and permit distinctions to be made between 'pure' and 'mixed' races." (Ashcroft 1998, p. 198). This is seen to be relating within both of the texts but mainly within 'Snow Falling on Cedars' in that there is a clear distinction between the races: there is the Japanese and the Whites.

    • Word count: 3776
  4. Explore the ways Guterson presents the character Hatsue in the novel.

    Since Hatsue is being slightly cold towards Ishmael in a circumstance were most people may need support it may seem that there is a past between the two. Ishmael notices how Hatsue's hair has been arranged and he mentions her neck which is quite a sexual part of the body so this may imply that they had a relationship. Hatsue's enmity here could merely be because of her uneasy feeling while being in the presence of Ishmael. In chapter 7 we find out more about how Hatsue is coping with her husband's imprisonment.

    • Word count: 2432
  5. What do we learn, and what can we inferabout Hatsue and Ishmael’s relationship from chapters 7 and 8?

    breaks, and Hatsue wanting to be patient dig away at the foundations to reach a better goal, not just for the short term. Then in the conversation they have on the oceans, the roles, to me, have been reversed, Ishmael seeing the oceans as one big ocean with different areas, and Hatsue seeing the oceans as not just different areas but as different temperatures, colour, and amounts of salt. Ishmael says you cannot tell a change when you cross them, Hatsue knows they are different colours and should be considered different because of this.

    • Word count: 950
  6. How Effective an Introduction to the novel is in Chapter 1?

    his readers can interpret this to mean that the citizens lives are boring, and simple. Also, the phrase "sluggish radiators" can be interpreted to mean that their lives are slow working. He gives us the impression that the island has a close knit community; the courtroom was "cramped", the citizens also seemed to have attended the trial as an act of respect towards all those that have been affected by the whole event. He also uses the introduction to introduce the type of people that inherit the island, "two truck farmers, a retired crabber, a bookkeeper, a carpenter..."etc.

    • Word count: 744
  7. What do we learn about different aspects of prejudice in chapter seven of 'Snow Falling on Cedars' from the way Gutterson uses language?

    The prejudiced members of San do not refer to the Japanese people by their real names so that their own discriminations can be justified. By not giving the Japanese their own identities, the prejudiced community can get away with abusing them without a conscience. Gutterson lists the different amenities that the Japanese community have in their area of San Piedro - 'an ice cream parlour, a tofu shop'. By placing a typically American shop - the ice cream parlour - next to a stereotypical Japanese shop in the list - a tofu shop - Gutterson manages to convey that the San Piedro islanders believe that Japanese have almost invaded American territory - they are not welcome.

    • Word count: 1154
  8. 'The Keepers of the House' - Commentry.

    The prose is written in first person perspective, hence the reader is able to attain a better understanding and insight into the feelings and attitudes the protagonist has towards the situations which are taking place. The use of dialogue becomes a common literary technique that enhances the reader's understanding and gratitude towards the prose. This style of writing stands out from the rest of the extract, hence adding implication and apprehension to the prose becoming an important feature of the extract.

    • Word count: 1505
  9. Consider the Way the Writer Presents the Character of Hatsue in “Snow Falling on Cedars”

    This helps the reader understand her perspective and frame of mind as the novel proceeds. As a character Hatsue is torn between two sets of social perspectives. As we later learn she drawn towards Ishmael because he represents one set of values. It could be likened to the fabled "American Dream" which is prominent in many novels. The American Dream signifies the freedom of choice without prejudice and that everyone has their individuality. On the other side of the divide is the traditional Japanese way of life.

    • Word count: 840

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