Farewell to Manzanar by Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston

opinion Essay
2259 words
2259 words

Farewell To Manzanar

In the true story "Farewell to Manzanar" we learn of a young girl's life as she grows up during World War II in a Japanese internment camp. Along with her family and ten thousand other Japanese we see how, as a child, these conditions forced to shape and mold her life. This book does not directly place blame or hatred onto those persons or conditions which had forced her to endure hardship, but rather shows us through her eyes how these experiences have held value she has been able to grow from.
Jeanne Wakatsuki was just a seven year growing up in Ocean Park,
California when her whole life was about to change. Everything seemed to be going fine, her father owning two fishing boats, and they lived in a large house with a large dining table which was located in an entirely non-Japanese neighborhood. The surprise attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese was the moment Jeanne's life was critically altered. This started WWII and all Japanese were seen as possible threats to the nations safety. It is not difficult to see, but difficult to justify this view, and therefore Jeanne Wakatsuki, just a child, was now seen as a monster. Her father was immediately arrested and taken away, being accused with furnishing oil to Japanese subs off the coast. And now,
Jeanne left without a father, her mother was trapped with the burden of Jeanne's rapidly aging grandmother and her nine brothers and sisters. Too young to understand, Jeanne did not know why or where her father had been taken. But she did know that one very important part of her was gone.
Jeanne's father was a very strong, military-like, proud, arrogant, and dignified man. He was the one who was always in control, and made all the decisions for the family. He grew up in Japan, but left at the age of seventeen, headed for work in Hawaii, and never again went back. Leaving his own family behind and never contacting them ever again. But now it was time for Jeanne's family to do something. They found refuge at Terminal Island, a place where many Japanese families live either in some transition stage or for permanent residents. Jeanne was terrified. " It was the first time I had lived among other Japanese, or gone to school with them, and I was terrified all the time."
Her father, as a way ...

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...ruly come to know a place: Farewell."
This says it all. She had finally been able to see that Manzanar was one giant stepping stone she had climbed, and that gave her worth, so she could feel at peace with herself. Her life had really begun at Manzanar, but she isn't about to let it end there.
In conclusion, this story was well written and I could sympathize with every trial and tribulation she encountered. Some may say she didn't value her
Japanese heritage enough or was pitying herself for being Japanese. But she, in my view is a hero because she took everything that was imposed on her and endured through it. She was able to accept herself through a kind of spiritual growth, which was both revelational, and inspirational. I only hope that one day I can make some sense of the things gone wrong in my life, or at least grow from them. Jeanne is a woman now, who as a child was thrown around in a racial roller coaster, and can accept herself as an important part of society and life, rather than needing others to accept it for her.

Note: I really enjoyed this book and the next time I head out to Mammoth Lakes
I will definitely try and find Manzanar.

In this essay, the author

  • Narrates how she grows up during world war ii in a japanese internment camp.
  • Narrates how her father owned two fishing boats, and they lived in a large house.
  • Opines that threats to the nation's safety are not difficult to see.
  • Explains that jeanne did not know why or where her father had been taken.
  • Explains that they assumed she was being sold. they were soon given 48 hrs. to find a new place to live.
  • Opines that for now on all families had a collar and duffel bag.
  • Explains that they hearded off to some unknown place. this was to be their destiny for the rest of their lives.
  • Narrates how she knew that her dad was away and her family was moving a lot.
  • Explains that jeanne is a nissei, natural born citizen of the u.s.
  • Explains that 6-8 people sharing a 15 by 20 foot space with cot was hell.
  • Analyzes how children break down the structure and unity of the church.
  • Analyzes how the man seemed to be a changed man. he was again using the cane he had carved years earlier.
  • Opines that after being imprisoned, he had great dignity, but now seemed to have lost it.
  • Narrates how she always had a room to escape to.
  • Narrates how he told her that their family was buddhist and wouldn't allow it.
  • Narrates how she took up the baton and wanted acceptance in any way she could find it.
  • Opines that he could not expect his children growing up in america.
  • Describes the camps, then let us loose with nothing? and how were they to be treated once
  • Narrates how she became the first japanese majorette at her school and won beauty queen.
  • Analyzes how the woman denied the fact that she was doing this for them not completely for herself.
  • Explains that she could now be her, for herself. she didn't have to be the same as them.
  • Analyzes how she accepted that part of herself that she tried to forget over the years.
  • Describes the reasons for fearing that it might have the same effect on her as it did when she was young.
  • Analyzes how she used to hate herself for the way white people would get to her with one.
  • Opines that they no longer wanted to lose or have those years erased. having found it, they could say.
  • Opines that she is a hero because she took everything that was imposed on her.
  • Opines that they enjoyed the book and plan to return to mammoth lakes.
  • Describes a dignified man who made all the decisions for the family. he grew up in japan, but left at the age of seventeen.
  • Narrates how their father kept their children in line by telling them, ''i'm going to go to school with them.
  • Narrates how the 7-year-old's life had been relatively simple until she was forced into a world guarded behind.
  • Narrates how she dreamed of the sears roebuck catalogue and referred to it as the same as god.
  • Narrates how the camp closures frightened the girl and her parents.
  • Narrates how jeanne enrolled in jr. high school and her mother got a cannery job, while her father refused to stoop that low.
  • Narrates how a girl said something that haunts her to this day. when asked to read in class, she stood up and read well.
  • Explains that later, made her realize that this was how things were going to be. they didn't beat or injure her, they saw she had slanted eyes.
  • Narrates how a revelation hit her that none of this really mattered anymore, and wished she had taken odori classes like her father wanted her to.
  • Narrates how manzanar was one giant stepping stone she had climbed, and that gave her worth.
  • Explains that jeanne was thrown around in a racial slur, but now she can make sense of the things gone wrong in her life.
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