In the memoirs Farewell to Manzanar and Night, the authors both reveal events from their tragic past to the reader. However, Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston takes a more reflective tone while Elie Wiesel tells his story with a solemn yet intimate tone. Within Farewell to Manzanar, Jeanne narrates her story in a very calm and reflective way because she wanted to spread awareness that the Japanese internment did indeed happen. Although she tries to remain more of an observer and state facts of the time she was interned, at the end of the memoir, her tone does shift from a very factual standpoint to a more nostalgic and sentimental tone. In Night, Wiesel’s solemn and intimate tone helps him tell the reader of his difficult conflicts trying to survive religious persecution from the Nazis and his struggle to keep faith in God.
In her memoir, Houston manages remaining observational for most of the book. She bides by stating mostly facts from events from her past experiences at Manzanar, now ...view middle of the document...
This quote shows how even though Jeanne is narrating a time when her faith was shaken and she was struggling to survive, she will still use a calm and reflective tone to get her point across.
In Night, Elie Wiesel’s solemn and intimate tone assists to tell the painful and personal memories from his time in the concentration camps. He uses this specific tone to really bring to life his memories of hangings, death, struggles with his faith and survival, and many other difficult conflicts within his memoir. Wiesel utilizes his emotional point of view to illustrate the hanging of the little boy and how it shook his faith. “He was still alive when I passed in front of him. His tongue was still red, his eyes were not yet glazed. Behind me, I heard the same man asking: “Where is God now?” And I heard a voice within me answer him: “Where is He? Here He is—He is hanging here on this gallows. . . .” (Wiesel, 62)
In Farewell to Manzanar, Jeanne’s tone shifts from that of reflection to one of nostalgia and sentimentality. Even when confronting her experiences at Manzanar, she looks back and has a wistful yearning to return to her past. In chapter twenty-two, she revisits Manzanar with her family and is happy, yet also sad to see the camp again. “For a while I could almost detach myself from the place and its history and take pleasure in it purely as an archeological site” (Houston, 173). This quote shows how sentimental Jeanne is toward Manzanar even with the trauma she was put through there.
In Farewell to Manzanar, Jeanne narrates her memoir with a very reflective tone. She focuses on making her memoir not only based on telling of her difficult past experiences for herself, but of all the Japanese Americans who were sent to internment camps. Jeanne does this by consistently giving more factual reflections than dramatic narrations. However, in Night by Elie Wiesel, the story is told from a more solemn and personal tone. When illustrating scenes of immense devastation from his memories of the Holocaust, Wiesel gives more personal and even intimate tone to drastic images. Toward the end of Farewell to Manzanar, Jeanne’s tone shifts from reflective to nostalgic and sentimental.
Farewell to Manzanar by Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston
Night by Elie Wiesel