Farewell to Manzanar Novell Analysis

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Part III: theme analyses of Farewell to Manzanar 1)Title-Farewell to Manzanar, published in 1973, was written by Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston and James D. Houston. It is a classic memoir of the life and struggles of a young Japanese internee and her family at Manzanar during World War Two. The title, "Farewell to Manzanar," automatically sets a theme of grief, sadness, and loss. The significance of the title throughout the book, is that Jeanne is forced to say "farewell" to her father, friends, and previous lifestyle atone point in time. During the time she lived at Manzanar, she had become a different person with a different perspective on life. Once she had left Manzanar, she had realized that her life there was the only life she knew how to live and now she had to say goodbye, and say hello to a brand new and unexpected life. 2) Author Biography- On September 26, 1934, Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston was born in Inglewood, California. Soon after the war ended, she attended Polytechnic High School, and attended and graduated from San Jose State University. She studied journalism and sociology. At the University of San Jose, Jeanne met her love James D.Houston, and they got married in 1957. Soon after her marriage, Jeanne's studied in France at the University of Paris. Along with Farewell to Manzanar, several other writing of hers were published. Such as Don't Cry, It's Only Thunder in 1984, and Beyond Manzanar and Other Views of Asian-American Womanhood in 1985. Jeanne is an American writer, and her writings focused mainly in diversity of ethnic cultures in the United States. Her written works focused America's attention on the issue of Japanese Americans suffrage during World War II, even if they had no affiliation with their homeland.

3) Theme-One of the primary themes in Farewell to Manzanar is family life in internment and how it becomes destroyed. Japanese families were played under internment by force not by choice. Jeanne's mother tried her hardest to keep her family together while they traveled from Relocation Center to the camp. Once they arrived in camp, a barrack was dedicated to the Wakatsuki family. After a certain amount of time, they became comfortable with their surrounding and began to wander off into their own personal interests. Time as a family was not spent, and before Jeanne knew it her family was being separated by the war, whether it was her brother moving away or her father's actions which drove away personal interactions with his family. A secondary theme that was presented in this story was the obstacles that Jeanne had to face to find her true self. At a young age, Jeanne made choices that led to her to unconsciously define herself. Whether practicing another religion, wearing provocative clothing, or smiling too often, Jeanne did what she pleased with or without the acceptance of father. Life in Manzanar gave Jeanne an abundance of personal room and time to discover many new things about herself. 4) Narrative Style-The story, Farewell to Manzanar, was written in first person. Jeanne Wakatsuki tells her story with her own words, and her emotions. Throughout the story we learn the narrator, Jeanne Wakatsuki, craved to be accepted by her peers and her father, but at many times was trapped into a world that gave her no way out. Jeanne eventually finds herself and the acceptance she longed for from her father, after saying farewell to her life in Manzanar and saying hello to her new and unpredictable life.

5) Characters: ~Jeanne Wakatsuki- At the young age of seven, Jeanne and her family were forced to move to Manzanar. Jeanne is a Japanese American, and from a young age had doubts of who her true self was. Jeanne was not always heard in her family, being the youngest of ten children. This gave her even more reasons to doubt who she was. ~ Rigu Sukai Wakatsuki- This is the full name of Jeanne's mother. She is full Japanese, and takes pride in whatever she owns and whatever task she has ahead of her....
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