The Careful Characterization And Setting In Farewell To Manzanar

November 8, 2021 by Essay Writer


One of the settings in the book is in Japan when Woody, Jeanne’s brother, was visiting his aunt. Woody entered a rock garden first. The sand was all white and raked and there was bamboo bordering it. When he got inside, it was mostly empty. There were a few mats but that was mostly it. In the first room there was an altar. In the book it said that “the war itself, the years of losing, had turned the house into a clean swept, airy skeleton”. Only Aunt Toyo lived there.

The next setting that was in the book is the Block 28, where their house was. Outside, Jeanne’s dad had made a little garden. There were stones from the desert and built a little rock garden out of it. There were succulents and moss growing there. Inside, there were a few mattresses. The father had gone on trips outside of Manzanar and would bring home wood he would find. He would carve them into furniture all around the room. For example, the wood carved table legs and lamps.

Major Character

Jeanne, the main character, is about seven in the beginning of the book. During the end of the book she is twelve. She becomes older and older in the book so it is sometimes hard to tell what age she is at. In the book she describes herself as a slanted-eyed girl from that looks Asian. She isn’t very tall. Jeanne is a very gentle person. She is intelligent and athletic. She cares about other people before she cares about herself. At the end of the book she learns how important family is when growing up. She learns about her survival at Manzanar and so forth. She learns about how unfairly people treated her.


At Manzanar, Jeanne went to school there. Her fourth grade teacher was one of the people she remembers about Manzanar. The teacher had sharp eyes. She wore slacks and sweaters that were short at the sleeves. The teacher was about forty years old and had an “Appalachian” accent. She was tall and would always wear a scarf around her head. She was strict but open-minded. Jeanne said that this teacher was the most amazing teacher she had ever had. Because of this teacher they got to go outside of the barbed wire in Manzanar.

Another person at Manzanar that Jeanne remembered clearly was a dance teacher. She used to teach ballet before Manzanar. Even if this lady used to teach ballet, she wasn’t fit enough to do it anymore, “… she was so anxious to please us, her very need to hold on to whatever she had been scared me away”(page 101; paragraph 2). She was a heavy woman with a few gray hairs. Her legs and feet were what Jeanne explained the most about. The lady’s legs were thick and very pale. There were blue veins above her thighs. When this woman finished dancing for the class, she took her ballet shoes off. Her toes were a bit bloody. Jeanne felt bad for this woman and I do, too.


What started the conflict was Japan. They had dropped a bomb on Pearl Harbor. That is what started the war between Japan and America. This was World War II. In the book, when this happened, Jeanne, her mother, and her brother’s wife were saying goodbye to all the fishermen in the family. It included Jeanne’s dad and two other brothers. When the boats got to the horizon, they stopped. Everyone was very confused. They started sailing back and told them that Pearl Harbor had been bombed.



What resolved the whole war was a bombing. America had bombed Hiroshima on August 6. America had won the Second World War. Jeanne remembered looking at pictures of the bombing. There was a huge dark cloud looming over Hiroshima. Since everything was over, people had to leave all internment camps by a due date. A lot of Jeanne’s family had already left. Woody went to join the army and Ray in the Coast Guard. Four of Jeanne’s other siblings were all in New Jersey and Eleanor was in Reno while her husband was in Germany with the army.

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