When The Emperor Was Divine Analysis

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In “When the Emperor Was Divine” by Julie Otsuka, imagery, symbolism, and emotional content are used to show how much the narrator loves his father, what he is thinking about the situation, and the things that they’ve lost and how people should be treated with respect. Symbolism is see in the very beginning of the story. It is used to foreshadow what is to come for the family. There is talk about darkness in the first passage. His father’s shoes are black Oxfords. The shoes represent the family’s pride. The father doesn't have his shoes on when he leaves because once the government comes and unlawfully takes him from his home he and his family are stripped of their pride. In the fourth passage the boy imagines reminding his father to put…show more content…
When the father is taken away, the boy remembers, “His father’s hatless silhouette framed in the back window of the car” (Otsuka 54). He sees him in this unsure and abstract way because he is not very unsure about what will happen to his father. His father being hatless makes him become somewhat of stranger since he is not used to seeing him that way, and he is only able to see a silhouette in the car window because even though he know’s that it’s his father he can’t. This relates to in the fourth passage when he is imagining his father’s return, “He’d open the door and see his father standing there in white flannel bathrobe,” (Otsuka 60). He is able to imagine this because he has a sense of what is happening to his father; he’s returning home and their lives will be able to go back to the way that they use to be.
The fourth passage is an emotional one because at this point the boy realizes that he will not see his father again. Now they have been captured and his family is in a cell in a desert camp, and the boy is fantasizing about his father’s return. In this fantasy, the boy is able to tell the father about what has happened, which is something he never got to do because when the tragedy started to happen either of them really
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