Farewell To Manzanar By Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston

1422 Words6 Pages

Identity is usually thought of as an individual characteristic. It pertains to ones self image, self-esteem, personal qualities, and behaviors. The “self” is an integration of where one comes from, where one lives, what one does, who or what one associates with, and one’s self-perception. However, it’s easy to underestimate the relationship that identity has with the perspective of others. Others opinions can have profound effects on people and their lives. This essay will explore the concept of identity relevant to the Japanese American Internment camps during World War II. It will juxtapose a book and two articles that reflect different perspectives of the event. The book, “Farewell to Manzanar” by Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston and James D. Houston, …show more content…

“Government Public Opinion Research and the Japanese-American Internment.” by Amy Fried is the second article, in which Fried studies and interprets the U.S. government based public opinion polls that were consulted by the decision makers who enacted the internment. Using these sources this essay will discuss the nature of identity and show examples of the consequences of the discrimination that the members of the Wakatsuki family faced.
Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston was a young child of Japanese immigrants living in California when Japan brazenly launched a full-fledged attack on US soil at Pearl Harbor in December of 1941. As one would expect, this attack elicited a range of reactions from citizens, immigrants, and government officials in America. Shortly after Pearl Harbor, the U.S. government quickly put together the War Relocation Authority, or WRA, to deal with the mounting concerns. According to Eisenhower, as head of the WRA, government rationale was based on a concern for Americans’ safety under the possibility of another attack by the …show more content…

It has been labeled a “fundamental injustice” and has resulted in a rare occasion in which the American government has issued an official apology as well as significant reparations (Amy Fried 2?). In the afterword of “Farewell to Manzanar”, Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston advises that “we can never afford to forget what happened at Manzanar and the other wartime camps. Those events remind us that this lesson must be learned and learned and learned again” (208). Perhaps remembering the mistakes that were made will help society change what is acceptable in the future. Identity is often thought of as an amalgam of individual qualities that are inherent to a person. But identity is where the “self” interacts with social norms and ideas. One then lives a life mediated by these

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