How is conflict explored in empire of the sun?

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thetall eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Conflict is explored through the eyes of a young boy called Jim, who is from a well to do British family living in Shanghai, China. The story begins with the attack on Pearl Harbor by Japan. Jim is an innocent boy who cannot really tell on which side of the war he is on. He is also not aware of the danger he is in at the hands of the Japanese, given they are fighting the allied forces, including the British. According to Jim, his support belongs to the strong group in the conflict. He initially is impressed by the Japanese Kamikaze pilots and even wants to be like them. His support and allegiance shifts to the Americans when they attack Japanese installations during and after the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings. At some point in the story Jim concludes that no one knows to which side they belong in a “real war”, believing that it is only survival tactics that keep people alive during armed conflicts.

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Empire of the Sun

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