Snow Falling On Cedars, By David Guterson

3470 words - 14 pages

Discrimination born of hysterical classism, misjudgement toward disabled citizens, and the infectious racism are several of the infinite cause and effects for the creation of war and disfigurement of one’s definition of love. Follow this path of history and the analysis behind the novel Snow Falling on Cedars, by David Guterson, to unearth one’s judicious elimination of the burgeoning virus of prejudice.

Classism finds its way through history, is studied through literature, and provides consequences thoroughly in countless examples of things like appearance and wealth which play a part in how one is judged. Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson sheds light on the level of veracity behind classism during the mid century where he confirms, with glorious fiction, an impression that society suffers under cruel economic distinctions and vast discrepancies in terms of physical attractiveness. Carl Heine is a character who undoubtedly set the standards for excellence, he was “an extraordinary specimen of manhood” (Guterson 50). These compliments were spoken toward Carl by Horace Whaley, the town’s coroner. Horace has his moment of resentment toward himself at the time of Carl’s autopsy in the novel, he “felt a familiar envy stirring and despite himself noted the girth and heft of Carl Heine’s sexual organs” (Guterson 50). Carl’s class of excellence gave him an advantage for acquiring love, friendships and successful employment. Even in today’s society, attractive people may have that extra quality that another is lacking; a better job means a classier home and car. The novel evokes a sense of personal shame riding on one’s self confidence when comparing the social acceptance of one to another person, perhaps a person who was walked as a baby in a “gold-coated pram, which boasts a fitted sound system and satin interior” (Olinka). Fujiko Imada, in Guterson’s novel, understands this difference in economic class when all the Japanese-Americans were ordered into confinement after Pearl Harbour was bombed. During her custody “the Los Angeles [Japanese-Americans] were not very cordial and looked down on her for some inexplicable reason” (Guterson 221). The reason is that Fujiko, from a small island community in Washington State, did not match the same rank as those who inhabited the opulent city of Los Angeles. These are examples of people of the same race, both equally subjected to hate and prejudice, yet still the Japanese-Americans discriminate one another on the basis of economic class. Even in the first days of America, white men were inflicted with discrimination by other white men, where only men of social status who owned property had the right to vote (Crews). This is the exploitation from a rich minority. Today, education is divided by class like poor neighbourhoods’ schools are often in a dilapidated condition while schools in the wealthy districts are pristine in comparison. Why does it seem one will always rob the poor to feed the rich?...

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