1. Evacuation Order No. 19 When the woman walks into the store it is evident she is not sure of what to buy. Or what to make of the posters hung all over town.
She seems confused, she wants a hammer but none are big enough, and wants a shovel, but she has two at home. She finally settles for the balls of twine and tape. Before I read any further than this point in the book I had already known she was going to pack.
I was surprised and appalled to learn about what she went home and did to “white dog” with the twine and shovel, and then proceeded to tell her kids he ran away. Why let the cat live and the dog die? To me it sounds like “white dog” was an icon of innocence being destroyed. Mr. Lundy insists that she pay him later. Probably because he has seen the signs posted around town and knows what rough roads lie ahead of the woman, so he insists that she need not worry about the money she owes him for the twine and tape. He could very well feel sympathy and compassion for her as well. He compliments her a few times in this opening scene in the book.
The name “white dog” only means one thing to me. I don’t know what color the dog really is, but it is called “white dog” for a reason. White is a very neutral color.
I think neutrality is linked to innocence. The murder of “white dog” symbolizes the loss of all innocence and hope. With one swift, hard blow to the head with a shovel, “white dog” is dead. The death of the dog can represent what is happening to thousands of Japanese- Americans, they are losing their innocence for a decision someone else made. The Japanese- Americans are being forced into these internment camps not knowing what is in store for them or what their ultimate fate will be. This book brings many advantages to readers that a text book cannot. This provides and actual detailed experience of the life of a Japanese-American during World War II.
Julie Otsuka actually lived during World War II and was in turn put into one of these camps. All textbooks can provide is fact. Otsuka can provide an in depth experience of what it was like and the emotional toll it took on her, and her family. Reading this book that was written by an actual person who was involved gives you a much deeper meaning. The knowledge you gain from literature rather than textbooks is much more valuable in a sense that textbooks usually give fact and literature gives you the emotional side of things and from that you can also get emotionally involved in the story and understand things from their point of view. II.
Train As the girl gazes out of the train window, she notices wild horses running in the fields. The horses seem very appealing to her because they are running free. The horses are free, something the girl and her family are not. The girl gazes through the slightly raised window curtain watching the horses for quite awhile wondering when she will be free again. The boy is drawn to the horses because they are just running around, worry free, and don’t have to worry about the war. The boy on the other hand is on this train because of the war. After the boys sister tells him about the horses, he raises his window shade so he can observe them for himself.
The adults around him tell him to close lower the shades. There are a few possible reasons for this. One of the reasons is that the parents and other adults don’t want the kids to start asking questions about where they were going and why? Or what would happen to them. I think that by keeping the blinds shut that it would make the kids anxious and uncomfortable. But by keeping the shades open the kids could see the beautiful Utah scenery and the wild horses, and know that there is hope to be free once again.
From a personal experience, I know what it is like to be locked up, no, not jail, but I know what its like to watch the outside world run free and not have a care in the world, like the horses outside the train window in the distance. The grown ups on the train are totally aware of what is going on. They know where they are going, not exactly where, but they do know why. Their answers are modest and simple, and the kids simply do not understand where they are going and why, this is why the kids get confused. Being a very liberal person, I do not have one ounce of respect in my body for a racist. I cannot stand racism.
What Hitler did to the Jews was horrifying. But in my mind, what we did to the Japanese Americans was worse. Hitler was trying to take over Europe, and putting the Jewish in concentration camps. At the same time, we were putting the Japanese Americans into internment camps in the western United States. We were not trying to take over Europe, or the world, like Hitler.
The United States over reacted and I cannot believe any liberal party.