Snow Falling on Cedars

909 words 4 pages
“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
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Ishmaels surname ‘chambers’ reflects with the chambers of the human heart, where his good conscience saved an innocent mans life. In each of these places, throughout the text, dramas and resolutions are faced by a good man. As Hatsue said, “He was a decent boy, a kind boy, she knew that.” Ishmael is a man who is dominated by love and torn by his conscience, but who eventually understands his moral obligations to come forward, with his information on Carl Heines’ supposed murder.
The final sentence has great importance to the text, as it displays Ishmael’s understanding that he can never understand another’s heart’s desires. This understanding enables Ishmael to accept the undesirable feelings of Hatsue’s heart, and move on in his life. The chambers of the human heart echo directly with the chamber in the cedar tree, the judges court chambers and also Ishmael’s last name. In each of these places, throughout the text, despite the ebb and flow, good conscience and love have climactically governed. By using this final sentence as the conclusion, the author David Gutterson allows the reader to have a positive feeling that Ishmael had grown and would be able to move on with his life. It acknowledges that although Ishmael will always love Hatsue, he 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