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

How does Guterson Present the War and its Effects on the People and the Community in Snow Falling on Cedars?

Extracts from this document...


How does Guterson Present the War and its Effects on the People and the Community in Snow Falling on Cedars? Guterson has presented the war and its effect on people and the community in Snow Falling on Cedars in many ways; through the relationships between characters, flashbacks, reoccurring themes, symbolism and the personal thoughts of the characters, the ones that happen in the 'chambers of the human heart'. The war is an important theme in the novel, as it can be seen as the cause of the whole plot. The use of flashbacks and filmic technique by Guterson in this novel are very important. They provide an effective method for him to skip back into the past, before the war, and during the war, and look at events then. This therefore allows the reader to compare the characters before and after, giving them more insight to how the war has affected them so dramatically and why it has done so. ...read more.


Guterson also uses the experiences felt in the war to show the effects of it on people, particularly on Ishmael. The war provides a moving experience to most of the characters, leaving none unaffected by the war. However, the experiences differ and have different resulting effects on the characters. Carl Jn became introverted, 'he worked alone. He was courteous but not at all friendly.' indicating that he lost the will to be sociable after seeing the affects of the war. Kabuo feels very guilty about killing the little boy in the woods, and has that guilt constantly with him; 'and he returned a murderer'. It is a guilt that even at the end of the novel does not leave him. For Kabuo the trial that he faces in the novel is also as a result of the war, because the final payment was not made because of the interruption of war. Ishmael looses almost everything of value to him to war, but the one person who does appear to benefit from the war ...read more.


However, when he returns to the cedar tree at the end of the novel the 'silence of the world roared steadily in his ears'. This not only demonstrates the loss of meanings of things, but also the loss of emotions and feeling and how bleak the world and existence has perhaps become for him since the war. At the beginning of the novel in the courtroom Kabuo is the only person who does not complain of the snow and actually appreciates it, in comparison with everyone else who complains. This could indicate his innocence, that even through war he has remained innocent. He is also aware of the snow being outside and the 'heat of the courtroom' which could reflect the inner feelings of his heart. The war in Snow Falling on Cedars has been presented by Guterson through relationships, flashbacks, symbolism and how the characters view events. As an important theme in the novel the war is responsible for the plot and many of the events that have occurred in the past and how these are viewed by the community and characters, in their hearts. ...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. Snow Falling on Cedars is often characterised as "a novel of place." What are ...

    The sea is where the murder itself takes place. Carl Heine's boat is seen floating adrift with all the lights on, by Abel Martinson who is the deputy sheriff. He reports this to Art Moran and they take a boat out to investigate.

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

    The San Piedro fishermen mistrust Ishmael because he is an intellectual and 'makes a living with words.' 9 Guterson suggests that circumstances that seem unalterable, such as prejudice or war, are the direct result of human behavior and that people can overcome them.

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

    An example of Ishmael's negative change of character is seen in the change in his views. He changes from he young boy who told Hatsue that the "Ocean goes on forever" to the bitter adult who, like his father, "loves humankind" but mostly "dislikes human beings."

  2. On its simplest level, "Snow Falling on Cedars" is a murder mystery with all ...

    The predominance of nature and the cedar trees also suggests the innocence of childhood love. This is however soon shattered due to the complications of life and World War II. Hatsue and her family are forced to leave their homes and move into concentration camps, at the same time Ishmael was sent off to fight in the war.

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

    A young child wails in agony from fever whilst the train trudges forward. The wailing haunts Fujiko, gripping as a black cancer of despair in her soul, causing her thoughts to turn dark.

  2. How does Guterson present distrust of the Japanese in the novel Snow falling on ...

    Kabuo's deportment in court is used against him and he is seen as proud and detached, 'some...would later say his stillness suggested a distain for the proceedings'.

  1. How Does Guterson Present Ishmael.

    Ishmael has no pity towards the islanders and their ignorance. Guterson presents Ishmael as a good man deep down, "The strange thing was. he wanted to be like everyone. He just couldn't find a way to it", who has the same characteristics as his father.

  2. How does nature shape this novel?

    I think the weather shows that life is unpredictable and cannot be controlled; you just have to cope as best as possible. This relates to Japanese characters of the book; they cannot control their ethnicity, just learn to live with it.

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