Free Study Guide for Farewell To Manzanar-BookNotes|
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With such pleasant descriptions of Manzanar, it is obvious that Jeanne Wakatsuki-Houston is fulfilling her purpose of coming to terms with life in Manzanar. She is acknowledging that Manzanar was a different kind of concentration camp; although there was pain in the camp, especially in the beginning, it became a decent place to live. The pretense of normality, however, will always be frightening and unforgettable for her.
Jeanne's oldest sister, Eleanor, joins the Wakatsukis for the last months of her pregnancy and is showered with attention. Her husband, Shig, is away, fighting for the United States in Germany. Suddenly Jeanne, who has been spoiled as the youngest Wakatsuki child, realizes that she will no longer receive all the family's attention.
Since the hospital at Manzanar is not a well-equipped one, the Wakatsukis are nervous for Eleanor. One of Jeanne's sisters-in-law miscarried and bled to death in that hospital. Fortunately, all goes well for Eleanor. When the baby arrives safely, Mama and Ko embrace in a rare moment of tenderness and togetherness. Jeanne watches them from a distance, detached yet curious. Jeanne realizes that she is growing up. No longer will she be the youngest child around, and no longer will she receive all the attention.
Jeanne feels her first pangs of separation from her parents in this chapter, though the separation is not physical. For most of her childhood, Jeanne is showered with attention since she is the youngest; but she is growing up and can no longer expect to be pampered. When the new baby arrives, she feels a sense of adulthood, of individuality, that is strange and exciting. With a new sense of maturity, Jeanne quietly observes her parents supporting each other and also sharing the happiness of the safe delivery of the baby.
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. 09 May 2017