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

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

We can see from the first page of Snow Falling on Cedars that Guterson is a very detailed author who tends to look into objects and people in depth. This style of writing is particularly useful when trying to determine what kind of people are living in the San Piedro, and the kind of lives they are living and also their reactions towards other people. Throughout this essay I am going to look in detail at the descriptions of Guterson and how his descriptions shape the characters and the atmosphere of the isolated island.

Guterson starts his novel with a very detailed analysis of the 'accused man' Kabuo Miyamoto and the court room which he is placed in at the beginning of the novel. This automatically gives the reader no chance of opinion as this character is, from the start, refused an identity by Guterson. This also gives us an idea of the opinions and views of the people who will be sitting in the public gallery.

Kabuo is described by Guterson has a very withdrawn and subdued character, who is seen as having something to hide because of the way he is placed into the novel and courtroom;

"Some in the gallery would later say that his stillness suggested a disdain for the proceedings; others felt certain it veiled a fear of the verdict that was to come."

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. He describes the courtroom as being run down and simple, which can also be associated with the community of San Piedro as both are of a miserable nature and only consist of the necessities.
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Guterson explains the jurors to be people who are increasingly uncomfortable as they are out of the situations and surroundings which they are used to;

"The jurors sat with studiously impassive faces as they strained to make sense of matters. The men - two truck farmers, a retired crapper, a bookkeeper, a boat builder, a grocer, and a halibut schooner deckhand - were all dressed in coats and neckties."

Guterson is trying to show that not one of the people on the jury are in a comfortable situation and are all seen as being nervous. ...

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