Farewell to Manzanar Farewell to Manzanar, was written by Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston and James D. Houston (Wakatsukis husband) in 1973. It is an autobiography of Jeanne Wakatsuki Houstons life and her family during World War II, The book opens when Pearl Harbor is bombed. Jeanne was only seven years old at that time and is force to leave behind the life she as known up that point. The family is moved to Manzanar, where the government has set up internment camps for JapaneserAmerican, who they fear Will not be loyal to America.
Jeanne sees the act of government first-hand has her father is sent away to North Dakota to an enemy alien prison and does not return for several months. Being so young Jeanne is blinded at the true reality of what is really going on, She finds excitement in what she saw as a voyage. Yet when arriving to the camp she is placed into an unbelievable reality.
The first year at camp is difficult, the living conditions, tension between families, and riots have tainted the people within.
However, as time goes by the people seem to become accustom to life side the camp. Manzanar begins to feel and look at like a community. Jeanne attends school so that she well not fall behind when it is time to return to the outside, Years later when it Is time to leave many seem to be confused about the idea. Papa, Jeannes father, decides to wait until the government forces him out.
Many Japanese headed eastward, some were brave enough to head back to the west cost. There are many important people in this book. With Jeanne we see the effect of the interment camps by someone who grows up Within them. Through Papa, we see a person who looses himself and becoming a broken man. We also have Woody, one of Jeannes older brother, who demonstrate the true meaning of loyalty. Like Woody, many Japanese-American men devoted themselves to their country by fighting in the war. Even though they were locked up and isolated against their own well many believed that it would be a way to show the government that they were true Americans.
Wakatisuki paints Manzanar as the place where she began her passage into adulthood. She documents her growth and development as she describes her life there, She portrays the remainder of her adolescence as reactions to her experience at Manzanar, By the end of the book we see the troubles that Jeanne as gone through in her life because of the interment camps, In high school l was given an assignment, which consisted of interviewing someone who had gone through the internment camps. Fortunately my bestrfriends grandparents (who were Japanese) agreed to be interViewed. It is now that I can make the connection of whythey found it very diﬂicult to talk about With me. Like the Wakatisuki family, my friends grandparents spoke nothing of the interment camps with in their family or even to their families. Jeanne continued to live her life after the interment camps, and had managed to literally shrink her memories of it. The memory had grown so small sometimes [she would] forget it was there, months passing before something would remained [her].(p.195-6) The memory of Manzanar for many years lived far below the surface(p186) for Jeanne as it did for many others including those of my friends grandparents. Executive Order 9066 that President Franklin Roosevelt passed was probably on of Americas darkness moments. Today. I would like to think that something like the Japanese internment camps would never happen again. This country is known for freedom. liberty. and Justice. Yet no matter how much you want to believe it true, one still questions it during a time of war.