When The Emperor Was Divine By Julie Otsuka

1639 Words7 Pages

People worldwide were affected by the events of WWII. Ever wondered what had happened to those descendants of the Japanese, after Pearl Harbour? In the book When the Emperor Was Divine by Julie Otsuka, she writes from the point of view of a Japanese-American family after Pearl Harbour. A Japanese-American family had been told that they were to leave in the morning to go to the internment camps, because of the attack on Pearl Harbour. In the middle of the book we find out that before they were told they would be put in these camps, their father had been taken in the night while trying to sleep. They had also faced prejudices in school when they returned from years of being in the internment camps. Seeing her husband being taken had also resulted …show more content…

The family had just gotten back from the camps and the kids had gone back to school. For the most part nothing changed until there weren't any teachers around. “At school our new teachers were kind to us, and the students in our classes polite, but at lunchtime they would not sit with us, or invite us to join in their games, and not a single one of our old friends from before --- friends who had once shouted out to us, ‘Your house or mine?’ every afternoon, after school, and whose backyards we had dug holes and built forts”(Otsuka 120). The family had gotten back from the train and the camps, and the kids were returning back to school. They were hoping that nothing would have changed because of recent past events. For the most part nothing had changed, until it became their lunchtime and the other students were ignoring them and their old friends had stopped talking to them, just based on something that someone with the same heritage did. Otsuka uses the perception of prejudice towards the kids in school to show just how much people's opinions change. The kids couldn’t have been older than 10. It gives the implication that the children's parents put the idea of all Japanese descendants being corrupt. Otsuka also uses the thematic idea of loss throughout the novel to show just how devastating of an experience the camps were. They were closing their eyes at night, getting ready for bed, when they heard a horse, and they thought that he was the one on the horse. They then started to imagine their father coming back, in many different ways, and imagining how he looked. “He could come back on a horse. On a bike. On a train. On a plane. In the same unmarked car that had once taken him away. He could be wearing a blue pink-striped suit. A red silk kimono. A grass skirt. A cowboy hat”(104). Their mind is making him think that their

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