Snow Falling On Cedars Essay

2033 words - 9 pages

Men with authority in Snow Falling on Cedars possess great power and can manipulate an outcome based on their own personal bias. Horace Whaley’s racist qualities emerge from their patriotism and experiences in war. Horace Whaley, a coroner, is a Caucasian American who served his country in war. His patriotism and experience in war allows him to become a close-minded and racist individual, “Horace had served as a medical officer for twenty months in the Pacific theater and had suffered in that period from sleep deprivation and from a generalized and perpetual tropical malaise that had rendered him, in his own mind, ineffective” (Guterson 46). After the morning recess, Horace Whaley swears ...view middle of the document...

In addition, foreshadowing is used in this situation to prepare the reader for the ending, in order for it not to seem random or arbitrary. In this particular case, Guterson provides information about Horace Whaley, including his painful and traumatic experiences of this psychological pain. This unpleasant experience communicates a negative response, since the cause of Horace’s psychological trauma will result in deep hatred towards that certain cause, in Horace’s case his services in war against foreigners. Psychoanalytical theory is applicable in this scenario under Horace’s deep resentment towards Japanese individuals. Horace’s harsh experiences resulted in the development of resentment of Japanese individuals. Horace directs resentment towards the Japanese since they were the cause of his pain and sense of shame that he attained in war. Accordingly, Horace develops behavioural manifestations of an indirect sense of vengeance. Horace’s contains aggressive wishes towards the Japanese man on trial, seen in his opposing position on the trial. Thus, the negative implications imposed on Horace through the environmental experiences of war have formulated his distinct hatred towards the individuals responsible for his trauma. Horace’s involvement in the war led to the development of his racist qualities coupled with his patriotism,

“Horace indicated for Art Moran the blood that had clotted in the dura mater and the tear in it where the piece of brain protruded. ‘He got hit pretty hard with something fairly flat, Art. Puts me in mind of a type of gun butt wound I saw a few times in the war. One of those kendo strikes the Japs used.’ ‘Kendo?’ said Art Moran. ‘Stick fighting,’ Horace explained. ‘Japs are trained in it from when they’re kids. How to kill with sticks”
(Guterson 58).

During Horace’s question in Kabuo’s trial, Horace explains how the cause of Carl’s brain injury was due to a flat object. Horace’s immediate justification of Carl’s head injury showcases his biased mindset and racist attributes towards Kabuo. The tone unutilized by Horace in the quotation reflects the attitude behind his voice, which is impulsive and negative. This creates meaning, and adds to Horace’s characterization that allows the reader to understand Horace’s composition, ultimately providing the reader with evidence that Horace is not in favour of Japanese people. Horace’s tone is very dismissive and casual, “he got hit with something fairly flat, Art”, this shows how Horace is communicating with Art Moran in a casual tone, seen in his referral to Art Moran by his first name. The layers of tones present in this situation contradict one another, since Horace’s tone is casual as opposed to the serious tone of a murder trial. Discrimination theory is integrated in Horace’s remark through a stereotypical approach. Horace forms essentialist generalizations about Japanese culture. Horace bases his assumptions on limited information with no regard to the sociological...

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