Analysis of Farewell to Manzanar by Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston

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In, Farewell to Manzanar, a memoir, Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston details her experience at the Japanese internment camps during WWII and the lasting effect that it had on her as well as the hundreds of thousands of other Japanese-Americans that were imprisoned at the camps. Throughout history there has been examples of times when evil acts have been justified because it took place during a time of mass terror and hysteria. During WWII, this became especially true, with so many countries attacking one another, races and groups began to blame each other for their problems. It becomes a question of just how far will a nation go in times of panic and unknown. After the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, President Roosevelt established the Executive Order 9066, which called for the internment of all people of Japanese descent. Would such an act be so widely supported today? There was never any remorse shown for the victims of the internment camps, but rather just a small apology was given to them after the fact. People, in times of severe hysteria and suffering, turn to a scapegoat to blame everything on, for this reason it is easy for evil acts to occur, and also be supported by the masses. Scapegoats are generally the way in which people cope with the stress and fear of the unknown that comes along with mass terror. This phenomenon has been seen on countless occasions, all over the world. When people suffer especially when the masses are suffering in the same way and for the same reasons, there is a tendency to want to make others suffer more. “The stories, the murmurs, the headlines of the last few months hand imprinted in my mind the word HATE.” (page 136). This way they can feel in a position of more power, they can fee... ... middle of paper ... ... injustices. From the examples of history and the examples of daily occurrences that we experience everyday, it has become evident that there is a fine line between protecting national security and depriving people of their basic civil rights. History is always repeating itself when it comes to the way people treat each other. There has been too many times when an act that is so horrible and is directed toward a group, where it was only followed by an apology. Often times excuses are made because everyone wants to consider themselves perfect, and do not want to admit to their errors. So rather mistakes are covered up with a small apology to the ones that actually did have to suffer. A government and its people will do whatever is within their powers to protect their safety and security, but it is too difficult to say that it will not again be at the price of others.
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