Book Review Farewell to Manzanar

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1. What do you see as the author’s overall purpose in Farewell to Manzanar?


The author’s overall purpose of Farewell to Manzanar was to explain that during World War II a place called Manzanar was hastily created in the high mountain desert country of California, east of the Sierras. Manzanar is most widely known as the site of one of ten camps where over 110,000 Japanese Americans were imprisoned during World War II.
Its purpose was to house thousands of Japanese American internees. One of the first families to arrive was the Wakatsukis, who were ordered to leave their fishing business in Long Beach and take with them only the belongings they could carry. For Jeanne Wakatsuki, a seven-year-old child, Manzanar became a way of life in which she struggled and adapted, observed and grew. For her father it was essentially the end of his life.
At age thirty-seven, Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston recalls life at Manzanar through the eyes of the child she was. She tells of her fear, confusion, and bewilderment as well as the dignity and great resourcefulness of people in oppressive and demeaning circumstances.
In April 1972, Jeanne and her family visited the ruins of Manzanar. She went because she wanted to find closure. Prior to her visit, she had doubts. She thought she imagined the whole thing because no one really heard or talked about it. She seldom talked about her experience with her family and friends. I suppose she wrote the book to educate us readers a time in United States history when innocent American citizens lost everything and that due process was violated.


2. How has the author’s experience shaped her attitude or worldview? Make sure that you use specific examples from your book to support your opinions.

Throughout Jeanne's stay at Manzanar, she faces a struggle to find her identity. Unfortunately, she has more than one. Both outsiders as well as…...

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