Farewell to Manzanar

March 11, 2009
By Patrick Yang BRONZE, Boise, Idaho
Patrick Yang BRONZE, Boise, Idaho
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

How would you feel if you were imprisoned, not for being guilty but for being equated with the guilty? The author of this book, Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston, was one of the people who experienced it. She was forced into internment camp when she was young. Also she was given only few dollars and a train ticket when she was released. I believe that you can already feel that President FDR made a dumb mistake because he was not caring about the rights of the citizens. You might also feel that young Jeanne and the other Japanese Americans are poor because they were forced into internment camp for having Japanese ancestors. Later, when Japanese Americans were released, US government didn't even provide enough wealth to start again even though their wealth was taken away by the angry citizens. If you only read the book, you can have a feeling that US government was so bad, crucial, crazy, or whatever. You might also think that President FDR was focusing at economy too much so he was careless at moral issues.
This is one of the weaknesses of autobiography, I think. To be honest, I think President FDR wasn't a bad guy at all. He was trying his best to prevent the society from being a chaos. I believe that other citizens were extremely frustrated when the Battle of Pearl Harbor occurred. I believe that some were angry enough to kill Japanese Americans as a revenge and some were scared that there might be spies among Japanese Americans.
He wasn't careless or ignoring the moral issues, he was weighing the whole society of USA more than minorities of the society. I learned that small things, sometimes, have to be sacrificed to keep the big thing safe. What's important is to recognize what 'big thing' is which is quite hard.

I had a decision to make. Shall I recommend this book? Or not? I, now, choose to not recommend it. Because this book is an autobiography, this is some kind of propaganda which doesn't tell enough facts and focus on one fact which is based on her view. If you just read it, you might have a feeling that US government was too crucial. However, if you think carefully, you can see that there is a strong possibility that evacuation was needed or wanted by the other citizens. I can't or won't try to stop you from reading it but I ask you to also think about how the other citizens would have felt. I believe that they must have felt much safer.

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