"Farewell to Manzanar" Essay

Topics: Japanese American internment, United States, Hawaii Pages: 2 (672 words) Published: May 14, 2013
Farewell to Manzanar Essay
Imagine; one minute you’re playing with your friends, and the next, you’re falsely accused of doing something you didn’t do, and sent away to a cramped camp. After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Japanese Americans were sent away to internment camps. Americans believed that they were spies and they needed to be locked away. In a book called Farewell to Manzanar, a girl named Jeanne is sent away with her family to Manzanar, an internment camp in California. They must put up with the stereotypes and hardships they face in order to preserve their dignity. When Jeanne’s family is let out of the camp, they face racism and exclusion from certain activities. However, Jeanne’s family remains standing strong through the whole experience, during and after Manzanar. These internment camps represented different things to different people.

To the United States, the internment camps represented power. In the book, when Mama meets someone who wants to buy her china, she breaks it because the man doesn’t appreciate it enough to pay a good amount of money for it. The United States wanted power over the Japanese Americans, in case they were spies or criminals. The United States disrespected the Japanese by following stereotypes and doing things that were against the Japanese Americans’ culture (apricots on rice, poorly built houses, no privacy, etc.), which also showed that the United States had power over these citizens. The internment camps also represented national security, as they were created out of fear of the Japanese citizens. The United States thought it was internationally safe to lock the Japanese citizens away, so they couldn’t cause turmoil anywhere else. The artificial safety was made almost entirely out of fear. While the camps represented national security and power to the US, the Japanese saw it very differently.

The Japanese Americans put into internment camps saw the camps as unjust prisons. The Japanese saw the camps as poorly...
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