The Impact Of Destruction Essay

1188 words - 5 pages

Some tremendous features in the history of mankind have been when one group of people were forcibly relocated to satisfy the needs of a more powerful one. This would encompass the Japanese internment camps in America during the World War II. The Japanese internment camps were overcrowded and provided poor living conditions. Likewise, every person had a unique story to this event, “A true story, involving an extraordinary episode in American history” (Houston x). In the novel Farewell to Manzanar by Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston and James D. Houston, is a traumatizing story Jeanne experienced and wrote down, to be remembered in the future of a historical context. Manzanar represented different areas of Ko Wakatsuki (Papa) and Jeanne Wakatsuki's unique personalities to bring about both destruction and growth, and simultaneously offer influence in each other's characters. The impact of destruction affected the Wakatsuki family's perspective of life and Manzanar itself, because Papa was separated from the Wakatsuki family, arrived home as a changed man, and tore his family members apart.
Papa has lived his life with achievement, until the day he was separated from his family after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Papa was falsely charged by the FBI men and was sent to Fort Lincoln with suspicions of supplying oil to Japanese submarines offshore. Because of Papa's destruction, he burned all remaining items such as documents, papers and the Japanese flag that reminded him of the attack. The narrator describes Papa as a “dark, bitter, brooding presence” (Houston 65). Prior to the internment, Papa's self-esteem was not destroyed. Papa was very enthusiastic and proud for his dignity and attitude. He was seventeen years old when he moved from Japan, who now has an outstanding family of his own. “He was terribly proud, sometimes absurdly proud, and he refused to defer to any man” (Houston 54). For this reason he went to law school, even though he never finished. Even though destruction destroyed the Wakatsuki family, Papa manged to keep his family strong by moving to California. Likewise, during the placement in Manzanar with his family, he managed to take care of them and to be in the same block at camp together. Papa would do just about anything to see joy in his family's faces. However, the effects of being away from his family contributed to the destruction of his self-esteem and family members diminished in time. The close and humble Wakatsuki family who always sat together at a dining table ended, and eating separately was a manifestation of the disintegration of the family. On the other hand, this affected Jeanne's perspective of life. At the age of seven, she did not know what was going on. She felt, as if there was no encouragement from her family. Woody, the second oldest son, took the role of leadership in the family when Papa was captured. Suddenly, the joy and happiness of home was left with sorrow.
Papa's dignity had disappeared once...

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