Book commentary on Farewell to Manzanar
Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston’s book, Farewell to Manzanar, was about japanese-americans during World War II, but more importantly was based off of her childhood life and experiences. Through Jeanne’s true life story, readers get a grasp of what it was like to be a Japanese individual in America. Jeanne and her family try as hard as they can to remain stable under the conditions of discrimination. The book goes into detail about the war and the “otherness” in America. The chapter titled “Yes Yes No No” reveals a central tension of fear in America through the characters’ reactions to the draft application, reveals a dilemma of distrust by the way Japanese-Americans were treated in America, and lets the reader know about how discombobulated the war effort really was.
“Yes Yes No No” reveals a tension of fear through the character’s reactions in the book. A tension of fear is presented in this chapter through Jeanne’s brother Woody. “But if I answer Yes Yes I will be drafted anyway, no matter how I feel about it. That is why they are giving us the oath to sign.”(89) Woody is tense about draft application because he knows he has to answer Yes Yes. Woody knowing that he will go to war makes him even more frightened. Papa is also aware that his son must answer Yes Yes, but is fearful of losing a son to a war. Papa became frustrated and turned to drinking. Much arguing took place between the Japanese people in Manzanar because of the draft, which revealed their tense and fearful state. The Japenese-Americans had no choice but to go to war against their home country. Not only were Japanese-Americans scared, but many Americans feared any Japanese person they saw and could not trust them.
A dilemma of distrust about is revealed through the way the Americans treated the Japanese-Americans. The Americans started to not trust any Japanese individual since the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Americans became frightened by Japanese people...
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