Dreams In J. Otsuka’s When The Emperor Was Divin

1513 words - 6 pages

A beautiful day in your Berkeley, California community and you're out running errands. The sun is shining softly while a faint breeze keeps the heat from becoming even remotely noticeable, creating the kind of perfectly balanced weather you've only read about in a "Come to California" brochure. Walking out of the post office, a peculiar sign catches your eye. Your heart breaks. The world as you know it is forever changed by the print you read. You rush home and begin packing all of your family's belongings. This is the beginning of Julie Otsuka's novel When The Emperor Was Divine. Set in 1942, just as the Second World War was coming to its peak, When The Emperor Was Divine examines the complications, atrocities, and humanity involved in this particular section of time in the world. The book revolves around a family, referred to only as woman, daughter, and son, during their time of imprisonment in an internment camp outside of Topaz, Utah. The father character had been taken before the rest of the family, making for an interesting look at the way individual's deal with both losing a loved one and reuniting with them. The ultimate effects of war, family displacement, and how children develop in accordance to their surroundings are just some of the themes woven throughout the details of the novel, however, the most important realization any human should come away with after exploring this novel is that of the treatment of Japanese Americans during World War II. The significance of the title can be analyzed in several ways. Its main symbolic allusion being to that of the "empirical" connotations associated to internment camps by those thousands of interned and the "divinity" that ruled over them. The captives could not say the real emperor's name because the only emperor they were supposed to be loyal to was the United States. Saying the true emperor's name would affiliate you with the enemy and you wouldn't want that. Looking at the title in this context, it can be compared and contrasted to the personal needs and dreams of individuals who were interned. The California dream is something everybody seems to strive for. A beautiful backyard where golden rays of sunshine fall all around as you prepare for a family barbeque in the middle of January are what most would consider the "California" dreams. Some, however, would say that, "The California dream - whatever its present form - draws its power from universal human needs." (Rawls, 23.) An interesting concept indeed, this is a particularly powerful theme running throughout Otsuka's novel. The universal human need to be with ones family and live in the comfort of your own home, wherever it happens to be, is the true foundation upon which all dreams are truly made of. This particular dream and the more common California dream of sunshine and beautiful coastline don't have to be mutually exclusive either. The dreams of the characters in the book are more a slight alteration of the...

Find Another Essay On Dreams in J. Otsuka’s When The Emperor Was Divin

How successful was Japan in establishing a new style of economy, government and armed forces in the period of the Meiji Emperor (1868-1912)?

2749 words - 11 pages on their shoulders. Prices were rising, the emperor himself was insulted, foreigners were defiling into the sacred, imperial land, there was a typhoid epidemic- by the 1860's it was clear that the Tokugawa could no longer control the take charge of the government. However, the Tokugawa made one last attempt to win back favor and in 1865 started some reforms. They began military negotiations with the French and with their help destroyed Choshu

Was John Steinbeck successful in celebrating the honesty, courage, and dreams of ordinary people?

765 words - 3 pages right up with him and doesn't budge.Steinbeck was also successful in celebrating the dreams of common man when Candy, Lennie, George, and even Crooks dream about owning their own land. Lennie and George have had this dream for a very long time, to "live of the fatta' the lan'," and that is all that Lennie can think about almost throughout the whole book, getting land and tending to the rabbits. When Candy overhears the conversation their dream

Dreams in the Making

980 words - 4 pages the things she gives up to achieve her dream. The final point is that the Valley of Ashes is a symbol of dreams that cannot be achieved. In Great Gatsby, Gatsby is a man that is new around West Egg. Early on the narrator makes the readers think that Jay is a man that no one knows anything of or about. But as the story progresses we soon realize that Gatsby is a very smart man willing to give anything up to get back with Daisy. When Nick gets

The Role of the Emperor in Meiji Japan

3270 words - 13 pages Within this historical context the Meiji leaders realized that they needed to harness the concept of the Imperial Will in order to govern effectively. During the Age of Imperialism, members of the Satsuma and Choshu, two of the very powerful clans in Japan, were parts of the opposition to foreign imperialism. This opposition believed that the only way that Japan could survive the encroachment of the foreigners was to rally around the Emperor

When the Wollaton Hall Was Built

5063 words - 20 pages considerable sum of money in Elizabethan times. Today the hall is a natural history and industrial museum, open to the public throughout the year. The grounds are particularly beautiful and they are also home to a herd of deer. The purpose of this assignment is to locate and investigate evidence, which will help to prove both, why and when wollaton hall was first constructed. Certain sources located will be backed up by

The Emperor and Nationalist Ideology in Meiji Era Japan

2800 words - 11 pages cornerstone of the country has been largely completed in 1889, “when Emperor Meiji was once again raised above politics by the constitution, which rendered sovereignty but not government within his powers; the emperor [has] become the manifestation of the elements associated with national progress as the Meiji elite defined it and the symbol of national unity, not of a political and legal, but of a patriotic and civic kind.”<<31 Ibid, 78

"The Novel Frankenstein is as relevant and terrifying today as it was when it was first published in 1818"

864 words - 3 pages revived a piece of dead human tissue, but when the non scientific world found out there was outrage and plans never went ahead. As for the present day scientists are still fascinated with creating life, such ideas as cloning and organ growing are still talked about and researched extensively.Frankenstein is definitely still as relevant as today as it was when it was first published, mainly because of the scientific issues that Mary Shelley expresses in

Was John Howard's Conscience Right When He Chose To Keep The Australian Troops In Iraq

533 words - 3 pages The issue relating to the war in Iraq was not only a matter of conscience for John Howard, but also a matter of national security. When he went with his conscience and chose to put the Australian troops in Iraq, many people thought that it was the wrong choice. However they, most likely, formed their opinions without looking at all the facts. I believe putting the Australian troops into Iraq was indeed the right choice.But wait, didn't Labor

In the World of Dreams

1490 words - 6 pages types of dreams. There are nightmares and day dreams. Day dreams are technically not dreams because it is just when someone is awake and just fantasizing. A nightmare or night terror on the other hand is when someone is experiencing feelings of great terror and intense fear in a dream. In fact a lot of people day dream on a regular basis, “studies indicate that as many as 96% of adults engage in having at least one bout of daily

Dreams in the Ancient World

2960 words - 12 pages ; looking at the top of some stairs ; and watching leaflet floating down from blimp. Dement found one case of study horizontal movements. When the subject was awakened, he reported that his dream has been watching two people throwing tomatoes at each other.” Following his research it was proved that there is a relationship between rapid eye movement and dreams. In the new world the dream cycles throughout the night were studied by Gay Gafer

Cover Girls         When I was in first grade I wrote,

1630 words - 7 pages Cover Girls When I was in first grade I wrote, in a letter to myself that "In the year 2000 I will be 17 years old. I will have long blonde hair, and a stamp will cost 25 cents " Prior to that letter I had been told by a peer that blond hair equals beauty. From that day forth I would sit on the sunny side of the car. This was a vein attempt to lighten my dark locks. At age six I realized I was born with a disadvantage because I had brown

Similar Essays

Drastic Effects Of War In Otsuka's When The Emperor Was Divine

655 words - 3 pages In times of war society tends to exaggerate national security measures by categorizing foreigners and immigrants as threats. During WWII many families were torn apart just for being Japanese-Americans. The excerpt from Julie Otsuka’s “When the Emperor was Divine” illustrates the traumatic events experienced by a young boy, and how his innocent mind attempts to cope with the painful loss of his father. Through literary techniques such as imagery

When The Emperor Was Divine By Julie Otsuka: How Characters Change In The Story

2077 words - 8 pages In When the Emperor Was Divine by Julie Otsuka, each of the characters – the mother, the daughter, the son, and the father - change because of their time spent in the Japanese-American internment camps. These characters change in not only physical ways, but they also undergo psychic and emotional changes as a result of staying in the camps. These changes weaken their resolve for living and cause the quality of their lives to decline; some of

The Most Embarrassing Day In My Life         When I Was

528 words - 3 pages The Most Embarrassing Day in My Life When I was in Form four, my school held an English elocution contest. I was really horrified when I was chosen as one of the participants.For the next few days, I searched model essay books for a suitable topic to speak on for I could never had written my own speech even if my life depended on it. Eventually, I chose a topic on pollution because at that time, everyone from the man in the street to the top

About The Life Of Adolf Hitler. When He Was A Boy. To When He Was In Jail. To When He Was Ruler Of Germany

1800 words - 7 pages ended his own life.On the evening of April 20th, 1889 Hitler was born in the small town of Branau, Austria. He was the son of Alois Hitler, and his third wife Klara Polzl (the son of a minor customs official and a peasant girl) . As a child he went to church regularly and sang in the choir. He was a decent student; he would get good grades in most of his classes. He dropped out of school when he was 16, only having gone to school for 10 years. As a