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Jeanne Wakatzuki's "Farewell To Manzanar This Is A Summary Of The Book By Jeanne Wakatzuki's "Farewell To Manzanar

1185 words - 5 pages

In Jeanne Wakatzuki's "Farewell to Manzanar", she illustrates the bad experience she along with her family had to go through during WWII, when they were deprived from their freedom. She tried to be somebody else totally different to fit into a society, rejecting who she really was. The struggles she went through during her stay at Manzanar, the crude reality and harshness she faced, made her a stronger person, but at the same time it made her neglect her culture and try to adopt foreign customs. The fact that she was exposed to more American traditions and activities, made her want to be more Americanized.Jeanne being of Japanese decent in the American society, felt ashamed and guilty about being who she was. When she and her family were put into the internment camp after the war had started, she had little knowledge of why she was sent to Manzanar. As time went by, she found out why and felt that in a way she deserved that punishment for being Japanese. When Jeanne and her family got out of Manzanar, she felt like everything that was happening to her and her family was meant to be or at least justifiable. "It gradually filled me with shame for being a person guilty of something enormous enough to deserve that kind of treatment"(Houston185). When going back to what used to be her normal life, in a way she excused the treatment received from American people after leaving Manzanar. "We [Kiyo and her] were sitting on a bus-stop bench in Long Beach, when an old, embittered woman stopped and said, 'Why don't you all dirty Japs go back to Japan!' We said nothing at the time"(186). All the rejection and humiliation she faced, just made her more of a quiet person accepting the negativity from the American mainstream society. That was something that she had kept in secret for such a long time. "It stayed alive in our separate memories, but it was too painful to call out into the open"(187). By Jeanne being submissive, she accepted her guilt pondering over the shame she felt for such a long time. This incident had a double effect on her cultural identity, it made her more accepting of whatever came to her from Americans, and it made her strive to become accepted in that same society.Because it was hard for Jeanne to be accepted or approved in society, she participated in as many activities as she could. Jeanne had a hard time when she tried to fit in with many Caucasian American people who didn't really like or trusted Japanese people because of Pearl Harbor. Even though this prevailed, she tried as hard as she could. "I tried, for the few years after our release, to become someone acceptable"(185). She surely tried to please her rejecters and herself as well in many ways. As soon as she got out of the camp and went back to school, she had her mind set on being accepted by society as a whole. "I soon learned there were certain areas I was automatically allowed to perform in: scholarship, athletics, ...yearbook, the newspaper. I tried all these and made...

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