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Snow Falling on Cedars

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“Ishmael……. Understood this too: that accident ruled every corner of the universe except the chambers of the human heart”

explain the importance of this as the conclusion of the novel

The text concludes with two summations. Firstly, that human hearts are unknowable, therefore one can never fully know another’s hearts desires. Secondly “accident ruled every corner of the universe”, thus we can never fully control what we are going to do as fate has a way of disrupting our plans. This is contrasted with the human heart, which is powered by an individual’s determination and will. The use of the word “chambers” echoes directly with three major themes of the text, these being; the chambers of the heart, the chambers of the judge’s courthouse, and also the chambers of the cedar tree where Hatsue and Ishmael consummate their love. The final sentence has great importance to the text as it shows Ishmael understands that he will always love Hatsue however he will never be able to know her hearts desires, and should therefore move on in his life.

“…..accident ruled every corner of the universe except the chambers of the human heart”. The final sentence of the text is important as the conclusion of the text, as it displays Ishmael coming to terms with the displeasing desires of Hatsue’s heart, also that he can never understand another’s heart’s need which is evident in the quote. This understanding enables Ishmael to learn to move on in his life like his mother and the love of his life Hatsue had told him “find someone to marry…have children, Ishmael. Live”. After giving the coast guard report to Hatsue, Hatsue then comes to Ishmael’s mother’s house the following morning. Ishmael then refers to Hatsue for the first time as “Mrs. Miyamoto,” This shows Ishmaels’ growth, the way Hatsue has changed to Ishmael in their relationship, because he now accepts her as a married woman and another mans wife. By using the quotation as the conclusion of the text, it shows that Ishmael acknowledges that he will always love Hatsue, but can never have control over her and know her hearts desires “Hatsue’s heart wasn’t knowable …….The heart of any other, because it had a will, would remain forever mysterious”.

The quotation infers that it is fate which affects the human heart. It is fate that Ishmael comes across the information of the freight ship, whilst looking for information on the storm. It is no accident that Ishmael turns in his information from the coast guard’s report. By showing Hatsue this report, Ishmael can provide some conformity of justice in his war torn world, while instantaneously proving his love for Hatsue. This is evident in the way Ishmael revealed his information from the coast guard. Ishmael did not go to the judge who presided over the trial, or even the lawyer representing Kabuo, but went straight to Hatsue, so Hatsue would know that it was he who saved her husband’s life. Also by showing this information to Hatsue, Ishmael wanted to receive praise from Hatsue for doing this, which he was given “when you’re old and thinking back on things, I

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