Discrimination In Snow Falling On Cedars

1596 Words7 Pages
Nonexistence of Racial Harmony in San Piedro
David Guterson wrote a novel, Snow Falling on Cedars, about racial issues between Japanese immigrants and white Americans in a small town. The setting takes place before and after the Pearl Harbor incident. Guterson uses flash-back scenes to elaborate the plot. Kabuo Miyamoto is put on trial because the people of San Piedro believes he killed a fisherman, Carl Heien. This trial and town revolves around prejudice and racism. The Japanese has suffered from injustice treatment since they have arrived to America. The town will start to realize that about fairness after Kabuo's trial. Not only are the whites prejudice towards the Japanese, the Japanese are prejudice towards other races. Kabuo's wife,
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What is not obvious in sight is the discrimination from the Japanese towards the white American. It is not shown because the Japanese are the only ones who were victimized of discrimination in San Piedro. The Japanese are mostly a private and quiet community. They do not show any signs of disrespect towards others. However, they do resent the white American culture inside. Japanese culture, in contrast, is much more conservative. The Japanese women are especially judgmental towards white men. Japanese girls are taught to stay away from white boys. Hatsue Imada was taught the same. Her mentor, Mrs. Shigemura, had told her, "that white men carried in their hearts a secret lust for pure young Japanese girls. . . stay away from white men".iv White men are antagonized by the Japanese women's unreasonable judgement. They are taught to avoid interracial contact like a plague. So there would be no opportunity for racial harmony. Mean while, the white Americans act self-righteous for hating the Japanese. Their hatred towards the Japanese is more justified after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. They hate the Japanese even more, but they are still wrong for hating the wrong people. Their Japanese neighbors are not Japanese nationalist, they are American just as the rest of them are. Kabuo did justified and defended himself that he is American just as Carl. He remarked that Carl looked like one of those…show more content…
Kabuo Miyamoto's trial was not about murder, it was about prejudice. Kabuo was unlucky to be with Carl Heien on the night of his death. Kabuo knew he would be blamed for Carl's death. He lied a little because he knew the other people in town would not believe. Which became more true than ever. Kabuo and Hatsue figured that since they're Japanese no one would believe that Kabuo didn't kill Carl.x The trial was already unfair because the people in town already had their assumptions and prejudice towards Kabuo because he is Japanese. These people are unreasonably stubborn to believe any Japanese. Kabuo did not deserve to be accused of murder and put on trial. He had nothing against the nation he lived in, he actually served the country. He deserved respect for enduring all of the discrimination. The trial was unfair because the bias opinions out numbered those who wanted truth and justice. Some of the people of San Piedro were more satisfy to wrongly accuse a man for murderer just because that man was another race. They did not have enough to be swayed to say the man was guilty. They simply wanted him guilty. This trial opened the narrow-minded people's mind in the small town of San
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