Examples Of Racism In Snow Falling On Cedars By David Guterson

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Racism is a disease that infects too many societies in the world today. Essentially, racism is rooted in an individual’s belief that due to heretical differences, some cultures are superior to others, resulting in the antagonism of the inferior race. Racism turns a blind eye to what a person should be judged upon, such as the kindness in their heart or who they are as a human being. In society today, much effort is being made to erradicate the world of racism, as it is highly frowned upon, however, this in turn has resulted into individuals still practicing racism, though in a concealed mannor. This is the case on the island of San Piedro. In David Guterson’s novel Snow Falling on Cedars, the Japanese population of San Piedro unfairly bore …show more content…

White individuals are quick to draw contradicting judgements on the Japanese. The Japanese were distrusted as American citizens due to their heritage, however the author makes evident that the white population of San Piedro are foreign immigrants, mostly from Europe, as well (Notes on Snow Falling on Cedars). This shows the discrimination and contradiction of the novel. Individuals derride the Japanese because they are not the stereotypical “American” and therefore must have allegiance to their own heritage, what they brush away, however, is that most of them are not Americans either, some, such as Carl’s, home countries were on the allying side with the Japanese during the war, evidently displaying the inequal and unjust prejudice against the Japanese race. Those involved in the investigation of Kabou Miyamoto tried to play on the physical appearance of Kabou to convince the jury of his guilt. Alvin Hooks tried to prey upon Kabou’s foreign looks in order to paint him with guilt, he quotes “Take a good look, ladies and gentlemen, at the defendant sitting over there. Look into his eyes, consider his face, and ask yourselves what your duty is as citizens of this community” (415). Though the dialogue is carefully contructed as to not have any outward essence of prejudice, it is clear that there is a meaning behind the words Alvin is saying. By saying “consider his face” and “ask yourselves what your duty is as citizens” he is creating a divide between the those citizens and the Japanese, one that is split by appearance, and imploring the white population to watch out for their own. The prejudice in this statement is clear, he is trying to use Kabou’s heritage against him to convinct him of murder. Thus, in the eyes of majority of the white population of San Piedro, the Japanese are

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