Snow Falling on Cedars Characters

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Helen Chambers

Helen is Ishmael's mother. The nature of their relationship is revealed toward the end of the book after Ishmael discovers evidence that exonerates Kabuo. Rather than tell her exactly what is bothering him (whether to reveal the evidence), Ishmael talks to his mother about God and about moving on with life after the war. When he asks her what he should do, she thinks he is asking for advice about his life, not about the trial. She encourages him to get married and start a family. This discussion about deeply personal matters shows that their relationship is a close one while the advice she gives Ishmael shows that she still mothers her adult son.

Nels Gudmundsson

Nels is Kabuo's appointed defense attorney. He is a doddering seventy-nine-year-old man who is plagued by partial blindness, arthritis, and various other ailments. He wears bow ties and often loops his...

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This section contains 1,074 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Snow Falling on Cedars Study Guide
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Snow Falling on Cedars from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.