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AS and A Level: David Guterson

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  1. What impression do we get of the community from the descriptions Guterson provides in the opening chapters. Louise Burrow

    Although we have not yet been told what Kabuo has done, Guterson automatically places a sense of distrust and dislike against Kabuo for the action in which he has supposedly committed. Guterson then begins to describe the atmosphere of the courtroom and of how people react to important incidents which don't occur in an isolated island such as San Piedro. He explains that a situation like this is so irregular people don't even have suitable attire except for the outfits they wear to church on a Sunday.

    • Word count: 1487
  2. Snow Falling on Cedars

    Again - try to simplify the opening. Let the line of argument stand out more clearly. Guterson wrote Snow Falling on Cedars primarily to explore and comment on the human condition, demonstrating the truth of the statement that "good crime fiction" does not merely present a puzzle to be solved. By adapting the conventions of the courtroom drama, Guterson uses the interrogation of witnesses, following Carl Heine's death, to explore the stories, biases and attitudes of various individuals on San Piedro Island. Etta Heine is used to show the old bigotries and how they prejudice people's reactions and perpectives.

    • Word count: 1954

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