Farewell to Manzanar Themes

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Coming of Age

This novel discusses the issue of coming of age in unusual circumstances. Jeanne Wakatsuki is a typical little Japanese-American girl of seven when Pearl Harbor is attacked. The attack changes hopes of growing up like her older sisters had, in a safe, protected environment. For Jeanne and her siblings who are still youth, Manzanar changes the direction of their development and their lives.

Life in Manzanar, as a member of a nationally mistrusted and hated group of people, completely changes Jeanne's life. Until Pearl Harbor, their life is in a suburb, safely surrounded by Caucasian neighbors, teachers, and peers. Her father has finally managed to achieve a measure of success as a captain of his own fishing boat. The family is comfortable and harmonious.

Losing her father to arrest, and moving to the nearly exclusively Japanese Terminal Island immediately changes Jeanne's life. She fears the ghetto...

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This section contains 1,668 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Farewell to Manzanar Study Guide
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