Intro: The era of World War II was not only a time in which people lost their lives because of war, but it was also a time in which discrimination of other races occurred. One of these races were the Japanese Canadians. They were brutally taken away from their homes and transferred to internment camps due to the fear that they would execute a surprise attack on Canadian territory, like the Japanese in Pearl Harbor. Joy Kogawa’s Obasan is a novel written about the experiences Japanese Canadians faced throughout their journey to internment camp, from the perspective of a little girl.
From the vivid imagery and unique structure of the novel, Joy demonstrates both the negative and positive aspects of her journey to the unknown camp. Having been taken away from home, put in a boxcar full of people, and not knowing where she was going to end up, Joy goes through a negative period in her life.
Example #1: An overlander with weeping” – a negative experience of leaving home.
Example #2: “The black soot leaps and settles like insects” – a disgusting picture of everyone being covered in carbon waste. This is negative because they didn’t have the essentials like water and soap to wash themselves, leading to poor health.
Example #3: “I can barely hear its high steady cry in the clackity clack and steamy hiss of the train” – this example demonstrates how unpleasant the ride was, with loud noises and cats crying.
Sub Thesis: Uncertain of what is in store from her journey to the camp, Joy maintains a positive attitude.