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Word Count: 1,171
The issue of racial conflict has caused great controversy for many centuries Conflict which is incited by racism is often thought to be the worst of all conflicts because it is unfounded and based on utterly false beliefs In society today there are many racist people who put down and almost ostracize the people of another community In Joy Kogawas novel Obasan the issue of racism is discussed through the various letters kept by Obasan which in turn provides a first-hand look at was done to Naomis family In Obasan there are many instances where the Joy Kogawa uses images of animals such as insects kittens and especially chickens to support a general theme of dehumanization Also these animals always seem to correspond to human beings whether they are generalized groups or individual characters In other words it is very apparent to see the foreshadowing of the story and also the close connection between the animals in the story and the human condition of the story through the use of these vivid images of the animals At the very beginning of the novel when Obasan and Naomi are rummaging through the attic and getting reminded about all of the memories they come across a family of spiders These spiders are described as being round black blots large as a cats eye 24 and in a sense disgusting enough to send shivers down any persons spine This description of the black and creepy spiders is a foreshadowing of all of the memories that Obasan and Naomi have as the memories and the plot itself is quite dark and horrific There are many large and black memories that Naomi has such as the death of her mother and the incident in Old Man Gowers bathroom However it is possible to assume that the blackest memories are the ones that deal with the racism towards the Japanese community For example it seems that everyone who has ever
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