I was thinking about our discussion of humanization and dehumanization. We are not given the names of the characters, however we ware given weirdly specific anecdotes and details about their life. And the details we are given are very human things to experience. We see the boy call for White Dog and crawl into his mother’s bed when he is afraid. The girl practices piano and likes to draw. These innocent things mark their humanity; they are mundane things that children do and to acknowledge that is to acknowledge their humanity. However, we do not know their identity. We know what the family is like, but we do not know who they are. Why are we given these glimses of their humanity but not entirely allowed in? Are we meant to empathize with the family? And if we are meant to empathize, why are we forbidden from knowing their entire indentity? It feels like we’re in the uncomfortable spot, close enough to feel their pain and recongize it as heartache but not close enough to”do anything about it.” (As much as we as readers can do)

Humanity? Maybe?

One thought on “Humanity? Maybe?

  • October 6, 2019 at 3:41 am

    I definitely agree with what you are saying here. I think it is interesting to consider that maybe we see their humanity but not their identity because of how they are being treated, or as a way to kind of call out the way the Japanese were treated at this time. The readers are shown that these individuals are so very human and yet they are struggling to find their identities .

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