The Portrayal Of Injustices In Farewell To Manzanar

November 8, 2021 by Essay Writer

This book is titled Farewell to Manzanar by Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston and James D. Houston. This book is about the Jappanese internment camps during World War two more specifically the camp called Manzanar. Jeanne and James Houston argues that there was an injustice done here and they are right there was one, they also talk about what went on in these internment camps. These camps have terrible conditions and are not safe for anyone the only ones we think about however when we here camps is Jewish concentration camps in Germany but there was concentration camps all across the world at some point throughout history not just in Germany.

First off, the reason that Jeanne and James wrote this book is to tell the world about what happened in these camps on the first page it says “So we set out to write about the life inside one of those camps-Manzanar-where my family spent three and a half years.” (ix). Jeanne was a descendant of someone who came from Japan and was kept in one of these camps for several years with her mother, siblings and eventually her father.

Secondly, the authors say at the beginning of the book “Everybody knows an injustice was done. How many know what actually went on inside?” (ix). The injustice that she is referring to is the hardships and problems that they had to face everyday inside Manzanar and later on after they were freed. They faced many of them from living conditions to sharing bathrooms the book says “The shacks were built of one thickness pine planking covered with tar paper.” (19).“Each barrack was divided into six units,sixteen by twenty feet, about the size of a living room, with one bare bulb hanging from the ceiling and an oil stove for heat.” (19). Now this alone doesn’t sound that bad it might not be ideal but definitely livable until they put more people in there. She said “We were assigned two of these for the twelve people in our family group” (19). That is a lot of people in one room and some of them might not even be your actual family but they were together at the same time so they were put into the same “family” group. On top of that these shacks pretty much that they were having to live in had no warmth at all “We woke early shivering and coated with dust that had blown up through the knotholes and in through the slits around the doorway.” (21) these conditions that they had to live alone were miserable if this alone does not justify that they had to endure injustices daily then I don’t know what will. The bathroom situation in Manzanar was no better than the rooming that they had its like a middle school locker room. It says that “Down the center of the room twelve toilet bowls were arranged in six pairs, back to back, with no partitions.” (28). This place was cruel and unjust and no way fit for living.

Finally, I think that people should definitely read this book and books like this because it really gives us a perspective that we wouldn’t usually have. We don’t know how lucky we have it until we read about the hardships that other people have faced and of course we can’t even imagine how bad it was actually there we only know what we have read. I think that the authors of this book did very well with the evidence they used it does shine light onto what Jeanne witnessed while she was there and it does support their argument very well.

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