Julie Otsuka Writing Styles in When the Emperor Was Divine: A Novel

Julie Otsuka
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The point of view in When the Emperor Was Divine comes from five different perspectives. One chapter for each of three family members is told from the third person perspective of one of the family members. One chapter, Chapter 4, is told from the collective first person perspective of the two children after their return to their home in Berkeley. The final chapter has a singular first person narrator, the father. Though the first three chapters each have third person narrators, there are some distinct differences that are the result of the respective chapter's main character's perspective.

The first chapter, which comes from the perspective of the mother, is surprisingly matter-of-fact in tone. This lack of emotion is not the result of an uncaring attitude or coldness but rather the knowledge that something must be done, and the best way to ensure that the coming changes least...

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This section contains 1,074 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the When the Emperor Was Divine: A Novel Study Guide
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