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Truth in Snow Falling on Cedar

             In David Guterson's novel, Snow Falling On Cedars, the "truth" shines through. The novel takes place in post World War II time, in a small island off Washington state known as San Piedro. It follows the story of a trial over the murder of fisherman Carl Heine, with the accused being a man of Japanese decent known as Kabuo Miyamoto. Intertwined within this trial is the story of the young love of journalist Ishmael Chambers, and a Japanese girl named Hatsue. Within this story many truths are brought to life, that of love, human nature, and the actions of one person. .
             Everyone loves to believe that love in invincible, but this book proves that there are things that can overpower the strength of true love. Through the love of Ishmael and Hatsue, we can see that things can come between a person and the one they love, and these things cannot always be pushed aside. Ishmael and Hatsue were different; one was American, the other Japanese. Because of the times, Japanese were considered lower class, and Ishmael would be looked down on if it were known that he was in love with Hatsue. This was also true on the other side; Hatsue's family would be very upset if she dishonored her heritage and married an American man. Hatsue and Ishmael never got to live out their love for one another, because cultural barriers to keep people apart. Love is not invincible.
             The question of human nature is frequently pondered; are people basically good, or bad? Ishmael finds out key information in the trial of Kabuo Miyamoto, and he questions whether to turn it in or not. Should he keep it hidden and have a chance with Hatsue, or tell what he knows and free an innocent man? After concealing this evidence for quite some time, he decides to do the right thing, and reveals the letter. Because of this, Kabuo is freed, Hatsue is grateful, and Ishmael is able to make peace with his bitterness and get on with his life. Human nature is basically good.

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