Themes In Farewell To Manzanar

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Imagine living in a country that you truly love and then being discriminated and questioned just because of your race. How insulted would you feel if your own country’s government interrogated and accused you of being disloyal? Nowadays, loyalty is an important quality that everyone wants to possess, so many people do whatever is possible in order to prove themselves. Loyalty shows a lot about a person’s character and their motives; it is truly a reflection of what type of person we are. In Farewell to Manzanar written by Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston she talks about the experience that she had while living in an internment camp and how it really affected her and the way her family lived. The internment camp caused many problems for the Wakatsuki …show more content…

Jeanne goes into detail and states, “I was striving to be Miss America of 1947, he [her father] was wishing I’d be Miss Hiroshima of 1904” (Wakatsuki 164). This alone, shows how Jeanne was being disloyal to her Japanese side because she was siding herself with the “American” side, the side that had previously betrayed her. She wanted to represent the Americans, not the Japanese. At least, that is how her father saw it. Jeanne was disloyal to her Japanese side because she completely abandoned their traditions, in order to “Americanize” herself. She was not presenting herself like the typical Japanese woman; she wore short skirts and smiled a lot. Her father was not proud of the way she was turning out to be, so he brought those points up to her. When Jeanne was running to be queen at her school, her father was very angry. Jeanne describes how her father said that all the males nominated her because she wore short skirts and that she should start to be more modest. At this point, Jeanne’s father Ko must have realized that Jeanne was abandoning her Japanese roots because he brought up a point. He told her “You can be the queen if you start Odori lessons at the Buddhist church” (Wakatsuki 178). Eventually, Jeanne was no longer able to take lessons because she kept smiling during her performances and in Japan it was not socially accepted for people to smile while performing. Jeanne was being disloyal to her Japanese side because she was not doing anything to conserve it. If she truly cared and embraced her Japanese side, she would have at least put in the effort to not smile during her Odori lessons. Jeanne was confused and stuck between two cultures but she ended up being disloyal to one by completely abandoning it and not meeting any of its

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