When the Emperor Was Divine: A Novel Themes

Julie Otsuka
This Study Guide consists of approximately 27 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of When the Emperor Was Divine.
This section contains 812 words
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Alien and Enemy

Say the term "enemy alien" today, and most of us immediately think of science fiction. But to the characters in the book, the term means something closer to home.

These are not people who speak a foreign and incomprehensible tongue. They speak American English with liberal use of the idioms of their day. The father does not subsist on some grotesque diet. He professes a love of jelly donuts. The mother does not adorn herself in some bizarre tribal uniform. She buys two-way stretch girdles and silk stockings from her local department store. The girl bounding about in her Mary Jane shoes knows what she likes: boys, candy, and popular music. According to the boy, next to his father, the greatest hero is Joe DiMaggio. These are the aliens, enemies to the American wholesome way of life.

To the children, the classification of "enemy alien" is...

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This section contains 812 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the When the Emperor Was Divine: A Novel Study Guide
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