Snow Falling On Cedars By David Guterson

768 words - 3 pages

Snow Falling On Cedars by David Guterson

When the leaves pile up, it creates a dense, and heavy load that only disperses after the climatic events of a storm. In the novel, Snow Falling On Cedars by David Guterson, Kabuo, a Japanese fisherman, is on trial for the murder of a caucasian fisherman. There is much racism on the small island of San Piedro between its Japanese and American inhabitants and the trial makes that evident. There is a snowstorm throughout the trial and the snow that continues to pile up represents the tension that is building up in the courtroom between the two cultures and it's people.

The snow falling outside the courtroom is accumulating and the events that are progressing within the courtroom is creating a mounting tension. Everyone inside the courtroom is listening and watching in anticipation of the events that are unfolding before them and "outside, the wind is blowing steadily from the North, driving snow against the courthouse." (pg.170) The anticipation is parallel to the wind-driven snow: both create a hectic and strained feeling. This strain is piling upon one another, which creates a great deal of tension between the accused murderer and the audience in the courtroom. While the tension is building up, the snow outside continues to fall, driving itself against the courthouse. The snow that is pounding against the courthouse is much like the pounding of one's heart when they feel anxiety: both are expectant and warning of the climatic event that will soon occur. Tension and anxiety can obstruct one's ability to obtain an open mind, and that is what possibly could happen to the jurors. "They looked out into the whiteness of the world and the wind flung sharply at their narrowed eyes and foreshortened their view of everything." (pg.170) When there is tension, one's view of the truth can be truncated. The strain can cause one to stubbornly adhere to their opinion and decision. This can cause the verdict to be very biased and could cause the jury's discussion of the verdict to be one sided and unfair.
Snow, like tension and stress, can obscure one's sight of what is in front of...

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