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Great War in American history does not signify any greatness for the disastrous affects it left behind. The aftermath of the civil war had been damaging for the Americans, which resulted in their rebuking the African-Americans, with a biased attitude towards their slavery. The book 'A lesson before Dying' emphasis on such a community, where the outcome of the wars were still hanging on their shoulders, yet it was becoming more difficult for the blacks to sanctify their identities. Leaving a young boy's life in danger, when he's unjustly announced with the death sentence. While ' Snow Falling in Cedars' brings out the Japanese-Americans and their hardships while they try to live discreetly around coastal environment. It shows the side after World War II, when Japanese were taken into the concentration camps and even after they were released they had to fight a battle with the same people they had spent a lifetime. They turned biased against their own neighbors because of the Asian mark they carried. The story reveals such facts, taking the reader into a mysterious ride of a murder and the history, which enlightens on many hidden facts.
Great Wars in American History And It's Affects. A Lesson Before Dying And Snow Falling on Cedars
As we contemplate through the facts of American history, there are a number of wars that are exposed for the reader's benefit. The affects that was endured by the civil war had hardly left its mark, when World War II erupted, leaving behind generations of hardships to be met. Those times have been marked as the most vigorous ones in the American history. Many authors from that era have imparted truism of the after affects of the wars; a time when natives were yet trying to make room for themselves while struggling with the whites to accept them as individuals. Amongst thousands of books written in different ways, but concluding the same message, "A lesson before dying" by Earnest J. Gaines talks about the disastrous affects marked by the war, specially for the 'blacks' in a white man's world. He has revealed these facts through a fiction where a young boy is set on trial for the murder of three people, one of them white. The fact that it were the circumstances that were against him and he was a witness to it only, didn't make room for his innocence because of the colour of his skin. Natives were mostly treated as slaves at the time of the civil war, they were bought and could be earned by their 'masters'.
As it was said back then that to preserve the Union in America it would have been inevitable to do something. The disunity of the states disrupted in the most dreadful war, where the President, Abraham Lincoln states, " a house divided against itself cannot stand." (The African-American; A Journey from Slavery to Freedom: (http://www.liu.edu/cwis/cwp/library/aaslavry.htm#civil).He had even said earlier during 1858 that, " this government cannot endure permanently, half slave, half free." As the northern whites were enlisting to join the army, there were free blacks moving forward to enlist. Some slaves followed their masters, to assist them during the entire period of civil war, while there was resistance from the whites on both Union Blue and Confederate gray sides in accepting blacks as part of the military. Even Lincoln had rejected the blacks to join the Union Army, but his reason being; the Border States of Maryland, Delaware, Kentucky and Missouri owned a number of slaves while they were loyal to the union, yet the sight of blacks in the army would have alienated those states. This didn't dishearten the blacks, since they proceeded and found acceptance in the semi-military or the military support position. By Aug 1862, blacks had received endorsement of the Congress to serve in the civil war. By the end of the civil war, 186,000 blacks had served in the U.S. Armed forces, 38,000 died in the effort to be a part of America's exclusive 'freedom'. (The African-American; A Journey from Slavery to Freedom (http://www.liu.edu/cwis/cwp/library/aaslavry.htm#civil)
The fact that blacks were freed by the end of the war, didn't fall as a relief since they were still enduring insults and struggling to be a part of an independent state.
America was rebuilt after the war, including the south, regardless of their resistance the African-American were becoming a part of this nation. But how far the whites were moving in to accept them still remained a questions to many.
Gaines has emphasized in his novel about the unfortunate verdict that the Africans encountered, from being disbanded from shops and exclusive places, to the distinguish attitudes in schools and colleges. A Lesson Before Dying has described a small Cajun community in the late 1940s. Jefferson, the young black boy was unaware of the upcoming shoot out. His friends, Brother and Bear had offered him a ride while he was on his way to White Rabbit Bar and Lounge. They had taken him to a store with the intentions of stealing some liquor from the old white man who sat behind the counter. As the old man realized their intentions, he took out his short gun and started firing which resulted in a shoot out from the other side too, leaving all three dead. Jefferson, a witness to the dreadful sight and being poor became greedy of the money lying in the counter, but before he could make a run for it, three white men had seen him steal the money. Even as the defense Attorney was trying to enlighten this fact, the jury announced their verdict, claiming Jefferson as guilty of the murder in first degree. Ignoring the plea that he was the only living relative and the means to earn a living for his grandmother.
The terrible side of the war had left many families with women to support small children, like young mothers were seeking employment to earn a living, grandmothers were raising the children. In accordance to that, there were some white who were raising an objection towards racism in their own ways. Going through an article in Republican Vindicator, it quotes on incidents when the whites did something out of their way for their black neighbors, as an indication to enlighten their equality as humans. Like it says, " Mr. Scott was seen walking down with street with a black woman" (Republican Vindicator, 20th April 1866, pp. 1), while for the younger generation it excited the views against their family, when they would witness the " the gallantry on the part of their teacher, when he escorted a black woman down one of their principal streets" (Republican
Vindicator, 20th April 1866 pp. 1: (http://jefferson.village.virginia.edu:8090/xslt/servlet/ramanujan.XSLTServlet?xml=/vcdh/xml_docs/valley_news/newspaper_catalog.xml&xsl=/vcdh/xml_docs/valley_news/news_cat.xsl&level=edition&paper=rv&year=1866&month=04&day=20&edition=rv1866/va.au.rv.1866.04.20.xml)
World War II again left lasting affects to different communities, including the Japanese who were living in the coastal side of Washington, near the concentration camp during the war. Like the sad affects of the civil war being cleared, slavery coming to an end and women finally leaving their homes slowly, to work independently, World War II widened the horizons further for every woman.
During 1939, the Depression was there on everyone's minds, since one-third of all the Americans had been out of work since 1933. For men war had been the time when which forced them to grow prematurely, with the sight of blood, seeing the dead everyday, being away from the family and loved ones, it left disastrous affects on their minds. As difficult as it was for the men alive to come back home to their families and adjust to the normal life, after fighting years of war; the women were still trying to contemplate the reasons for the war. When the Japanese attacked Pearl-Harbor, the United States had been unprepared for the war. To defeat Japanese moving towards the Pacific Islands, and having conquered it,
Americans geared up their home front completely to make every effort to rush towards war productions and draft men into combat. There were obvious concerns about women taking soldier jobs, viewing the affects it would leave on the family and anxiety about the breakdown of social values. It brought a vast number of changes for women, since most of the men were enlisting for military service, women were asked to fill up their places in civilian employment. It made them value their earnings and made them more independent, as they didn't have to ask anyone how to spend. At the time of Depression, poverty increased, many adults postponed their marriage, couples couldn't afford to support a family making the birth rate fall tremendously. A lot of men married quickly just before being shipped out and expected to regain their homes, jobs and start a family when they got back.. Blacks were still facing racism in some areas, while on the West Coast hysteria developed when the war broke. Thousands of Japanese-Americans were rounded up and were taken prisoners, while there were letters sent out all over the state, where the prejudice…[continue]
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