Hatsue and Ishmael`s Relationship

Hatsue and Ishmael’s childhood relationship emerges at the beginning of chapter eight, with them both on an empty beach at the age of fourteen digging for geoducks, and swimming in the sea. When they find their first geoduck, it appears to me like a films stereotypical dig, with one person, Hatsue, caring about the animal its size, and its condition “He’ll break if we start pulling. Lets be patient… ” “Easy is the way. Don’t hurry it. Slow is best. ” With the other person wanting to dig it out straight away, only caring what they get out of it “My turn to dig. “Lets pull it now. ”
This I think is the first comparison of the difference, a metaphor, of Hatsue and Ishmael’s personalities. I see this as how they will treat their relationship to come. This can be seen as how men and women see relationships as general. Ishmael wanting to dig straight away and pull at the goal as soon as it is seen not caring if it breaks, and Hatsue wanting to be patient dig away at the foundations to reach a better goal, not just for the short term.
Then in the conversation they have on the oceans, the roles, to me, have been reversed, Ishmael seeing the oceans as one big ocean with different areas, and Hatsue seeing the oceans as not just different areas but as different temperatures, colour, and amounts of salt. Ishmael says you cannot tell a change when you cross them, Hatsue knows they are different colours and should be considered different because of this. Hatsue’s views on the oceans and her personality as a young Japanese woman arises from her lessons from Mrs.

Shigemura in how to take care of her skin, how to sing, stand, sit, and walk. In the lessons I think Mrs. Shigemura blinds Hatsue of racial equality, Japanese for Japanese, not to mix with Americans. This is only because Mrs. Shigemura and/or her relatives would have been treated as lower to Americans, which we see in the first four pages of chapter seven. The Japanese people labelled as Jap1, Old Jap Sam. Even in the Island County Historical Archives it is said that “Jap number 107 lost his hand to a ripping blade on March 12th and received injury payment of $7. 0. ”
The fact that a county historical book refers to the Japanese as numbers, and compensation for loss of hand is seventy-one hours work at their eleven cents an hour. From the jobs like sweeping sawdust, or oiling machines, you can understand why the Japanese must stay together and treat others differently. Others like Ishmael. “He had known her for six years and he had not known her. The detached part of her. ” This statement refers to the fact that Hatsue would not be seen in public with Ishmael.
Never to talk to each other in school, only in the secluded woods and beech where no one would see them or on the berry fields where no one would care. Even if Hatsue did not understand this at first she still follows the unwritten laws, not through choice but respect of what her family and what Mrs. Shigemura tells her “stay away from white men. ” “Marry a boy of your own kind whose heart is strong and good. ” She does however have a mind of her own and follows what she wants by meeting Ishmael alone, I think this is not because she is scared of what others think of her, but what others will think of her family.
Ishmael cannot see this in Hatsue and is afraid to talk of it in case he scares her off, but his love for her has these short outbursts which I think he cannot control but he must follow and kiss Hatsue. She does not push away from the kiss, she even prolongs the moment “She pushes back against him. ” Then when she comes back to her senses, jumps up and runs off. This uncontrolled feeling Ishmael has towards Hatsue then reveals itself again four days after that kiss. He spies on Hatsue’s house wishing to see her, his love overpowering his other feelings of boredom for long enough to see her To his surprise no boredom overtook him and so he stayed for an hour more. It was a kind of relief to rest his cheek on the earth underneath the stars and to have some hope of seeing Hatsue. ”
This short glimpse of Hatsue taking in the washing forced him to return the next five nights though he did not want to “… his walk would become a pilgrimage, he would feel guilt and shame. ” Only to see her twice more once taking the washing in, another throwing out the kitchen scraps. This stopped the night her father emerged from his house. They then are caught in a storm while both working picking on the same field.
Ishmael follows Hatsue to a hole in the roots of a cedar tree thinking he cannot be seen, but Hatsue turns round and plainly invites him in. giving the impression she knew he was following her but never said anything. They talk about their last kiss Ishmael tries to make the peace exclaiming the kiss as wrong, and that he was sorry. Hatsue is embarrassed more than ashamed and not sorry, Ishmael soon jumps to copy what Hatsue wants. They talk for half an hour and then kissed for even longer. Leaving Ishmael at the happiest moment of his life, for now.

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