Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston's Arrival At Manzanar

There are many things that happened to Japanese-Americans during World War 2 that people today just aren’t familiar with. The story revolves around Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston, a Japanese-American, and what she experienced, living in the World War 2 era. The writing piece titled, “Arrival at Manzanar", takes place during Houston’s childhood. In the beginning, Jeanne and her family were living a relatively pleasant life in a predominantly non-Japanese neighborhood, until the war happened and they were forced to relocate due to the escalating tensions concerning Japanese Orientals and White Americans. At the time, Japanese-Americans, like Houston, were forced to live in internment camps due to the American government taking precautions. The text …show more content…
Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston gives a vivid description regarding her mom selling their family’s china to a dealer in order to earn some money for their family. She uses pathos in this to urge the reader to sympathize with her mother and their situation. For example, Houston wrote, “Mama took out another dinner plate and hurled it at the floor; then another, and another, never opening her mouth, just quivering and glaring at the retreating dealer, with tears streaming down her cheeks” (677). Because the entire writing piece contains little to no dialogue, she uses very detailed sentences, as well as definitions, to make up for the lacking element and to make it more personal. She accomplishes this by making use of her ethnic background and adding references from the Japanese language. Houston used phrases like, “Shikato ga nai” (678), that translates to “it cannot be helped” and “Shikata ga nai” (678), which means “it must be done” in order to give the readers insight as to what the Japanese people who lived in America felt during that time. The reason for the phrases, relate to a long and ancient culture in which the citizens have to abide by the rules and laws as well as to not question it. In Oriental countries like Japan, people are raised to have a sense of conformity with regards to them. This is why most Japanese-Americans in America, during WW2, didn’t fight back or retaliate even when the American government decided that they weren’t to be trusted and should be sent to internment camps. Generally, people with an East Asian background don’t like to stand out or to be seen as rude, which is why the Orientals living in America rarely protested in the way they were being mistreated; they could only keep their anger and grief to themselves. This was the case for Houston when she and the rest of the Japanese-Americans living in the internment camp were being fed

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