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The atmosphere of the camp slowly erodes the family unit. Papa drinks too much and often abuses Mama. The older siblings take jobs and move to other places in and outside the camp. The younger children amuse themselves by running around the barracks without supervision. Slowly, however, all of the Wakatsukis become accustomed to their lives in Manzanar. Then in February of 1943, the detained Japanese are ordered to sign a Loyalty Oath to America or be sent back to Japan. The oath swears allegiance to the United States and a willingness to fight Japan in the war if necessary. After lengthy arguments with his father, Woody fills out the form. Reluctantly, Papa realizes he too must sign. He feels he is no longer Japanese, for his life in his native country is only a distant memory.
In the spring, the Wakatsukis are moved to a new barracks, Block 28, where they have more space; as a result, they are able to make their accommodations more livable. Manzanar itself becomes a comfortable, almost "normal" society for them. There are recreational programs for the children, dance classes and baton twirling lessons for the girls and field trips for all. The Wakatsuki children also participate in clubs and theater performances. Manzanar becomes an acceptable world of its own.
Just as the Wakatsukis begin to feel settled and comfortable, the war ends. The government closes down the Japanese detention camps, leaving the detained Japanese-Americans homeless and poor. They are forced to return to a society that does not trust them or want them around. To make matters worse, they lost everything when they were taken away to the camp; they now have nothing of their own.
Woody decides to travel back to Japan to visit his surviving relatives in Hiroshima. The trip is cathartic for him, for he comes to understand his relationship to his past and to accept his present identity. Jeanne's life, however, is not so easy. Her adolescence is marred by confusion over the desire to act American and the obvious Japanese heritage that separates her from her peers. Additionally, she is exposed to racial prejudice against Japanese, and she internalizes them, blaming herself
The memoir ends thirty years later, with Jeanne as an adult and a mother. She returns to Manzanar with her husband and three children. In many respects, the visit is similar to Woody's visit to Hiroshima; it helps Jeanne come to terms with her past and accept them as an integral part of her person. She writes the novel asFree Study Guide for Farewell To Manzanar-BookNotese person she has become.
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. 09 May 2017