Farewell to Manzanar

Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston and James D. Houston\'s novel, Farewell to Manzanar (1973), discusses the internment of Japanese-American people in a relocation camp from 1943-1945. The autobiographical work reveals, through the eyes of a Japanese American teenage girl, her inner struggle with her identity as a person of the Japanese race living in California during World War II. The novel explores the issues of gender culture, and race as important ideas that help Jeanne Wakatsuki to construct her own sense of identity and self-hood. Specifically, Farewell to Manzanar attempts to raise some significant questions: What is the role of a Japanese woman in the tradtional Japanese society? How does this role shift for a second generation (Nissei) Japanese girl growing up in American? What are the differences between the home culture and school culture? How are these differenceS revealed within the novel through values, customs, and the parent-child relationship? What does it mean for Jeanne to be both biLterate and biculture in American during the 1940\'s? 1970\'s? How does Farewell to Manzanar compare to The Diary of Anne Frank? We will focus on such concerns in the framework of the social, historical, and cultural contexts of the times.