Why/how is style important to understand the book Eyes of the Emperor written by Graham Salisbury?Teaching/recommending this book to students.
The most notable elements of style used in this novel are the first person narrative and the character through which the story is told: a 16 year old Japanese American.
Though this book is a work of fiction, it has been praised for its ability to portray a realistic picture of an area of history that has been much overlooked and certainly under-appreciated. Through interviews with real Japanese American veterans, Graham recreates the experience of serving the US during WW2 through their perspective, which was more negative than positive.
Because the voice in the story is that of a 16 year old, students are able to not only identify immediately with the age and inexperienced perspective, but are invited to read Eddy's thoughts and feel Eddy's feelings through realities that they themselves will never experience.
Finally, the style of writing has been praised as "immediate," meaning, readers experience the action as it takes place rather than hear the retelling from years after it happened. In this way, the novel is similar to Erich Remarque's All Quiet on the Western Front. Both books are noteworthy for daring to present the horrors of war and the horrors of human nature with such honesty and detail, because the stories are told while the main character is still feeling the effects of his circumstances.