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Book Report Sample

(review of “Snow Falling on Cedars” by David Guterson)

“Snow Falling on Cedars” by David Guterson is a great story that shows human feelings, such as love, hatred, desire and many others. We can see that the major theme of this novel is the detrimental effects of racial prejudice. As an example, both the government and the majority of the white citizens of San Piedro treated the Japanese islanders as second-class citizens that were worthy only of distrust. The reader can feel the strong injustice during the arrest of Kabuo for murder where racial prejudice takes place.

The second theme in this novel is the actual physical and emotional effects of war. The various atrocities of war leave the characters unable to communicate as easy and openly as they could. Moreover war made them feel themselves ineffective and guilty. However, we can see different love stories in this novel and in spite of the fact that characters lost their trust, they could love as much as always: “he decided he would love her forever no matter what came to pass.”

Throughout the whole novel, the author shows how war creates emotional and physical obstacles to love, happiness, and understanding. All men in this novel are constantly reminded of the horrible war. For example, Carl is unable to communicate with his wife and, as a result, Horace Whaley feels he is ineffective because he couldn’t save those in his care when he was at war. Kabuo always carries his guilt on his face, and life gets in the way of him just reminding him the young German boy he killed. And for Ishmael, the loss of his arm would be a strong reminder of the war till the end of his life. His war experiences created the distance between him and the others that’s why he finds it hard to relate to other people. The darkness of war inhabits many of the characters. There was a good expression that defined feelings of the most characters towards the other people: “He loved humankind dearly and with all his heart, but he disliked most human beings”…

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