Positive Psychology: Snow Falling on Cedars

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The Revelation in the Dust and the Snow “There are things in this universe we cannot control…” (p.387) It is a pleasure to be here for ‘2011’s London Literature Festival’. For those who may not know, my name is David Guterson. Many of you may associate me with my most recognised work, “Snow Falling on Cedars.” Today, I have been asked to discuss the role of setting and how it extends, reflects and influences the characters within this particular novel. Snow Falling on Cedars is an allegory for the pursuit of understanding in life, human nature and relationships. I chose to write Snow Falling on Cedars from a historical perspective to shape the emotional, psychological and philosophical aspects of the plot. The setting in which a story takes place is significant as it allows the reader to better understand the context of the events and themes. This book integrates memories of WWII through flashbacks from the view of different characters. To further the theme of the theme ‘truth and justice’, I created the setting of Manzanar Internment Camp, where innocent Japanese-Americans are sent during the war. When placed in difficult situations, the attitudes of the characters evolve to overcome these certain obstacles. My story takes place in the year 1954 in the event of a snowstorm that affects the small township of Amity Harbor. “… A blizzard like this one did not come along often – the last had hit in [19]36” (p.274). It is ironic that this blizzard coincides with the first incident of murder in a decade: “the most distressing news story of the preceding ten years had been the wounding of an island resident by a drunken Seattle yachtsman with a shotgun” (p.3). As some of you may have noticed, I have used John Ruskin’s ‘pathetic fallacy’ to describe snow throughout the novel. Literary devices and techniques are used to enhance the idea of snow portraying human

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