"Snow Falling on Cedars" by David Guterson

Essay by Anonymous UserHigh School, 12th gradeA+, September 1996

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Dear Ishmael,

...I don't love you, Ishmael. I can think of no more honest way to say it. From the very beginning, when we were little children, it seemed to me something was wrong. Whenever we were together I knew it. I felt it inside of me. I loved you and I didn't love you at the very same moment, and I felt troubled and confused. Now, everything is obvious to me and I feel I have to tell you the truth... I am not yours any more.

I wish you the very best, Ishmael. Your heart is large and you are gentle and kind, and I know you will do great things in this world, but now I must say good-bye to you. I am going to move on with my life as best I can, and I hope that you will too.


Hatsue Imada

Snow Falling on Cedars, by David Guterson, is an emotional story in which we see the life of a man who could not move on and a woman that did.

The man, Ishmael, is hopelessly in love with the woman, Hatsue. His love for her can not be dissuaded by anything; not her words, her wishes, or her marriage. He holds on to Hatsue because of his feelings for her, even after he gains the knowledge that it is extremely improbable that he could ever be with her. Hatsue is much more logical and rational with her feelings. She saw her love with Ishmael for what it was. She realized she did not really love him and that she was still learning what love really is. She moved on with her life, whereas Ishmael could not.

Ishmael's view of love did not change throughout the novel. He...