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Pat Swenson, CSUN - Farewell to Manzanar
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Prof Pat Swenson

Campus Email: pat.swenson@csun.edu

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EA 100
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Farewell to Manzanar - Discussion Guide


Describe the Characters

Describe the life of the Wakatsukis before, during, and after internment. For instance, you might include: where they lived, what they did with their time, how they were treated by non-Asians, how they related to each other, and how they felt about their station in life.

As you describe each family member's personality, note any changes that took place in his or her belief system.

Japanese Shame & Honor

Explain the concepts of shame and honor in Japanese culture.

How did the imprisonment in internment camps destroy honor and create shame for some of the family members?


Person-against-self - an internal conflict of feelings.

Person-against-person - the typical protagonist vs. antagonist scenario.

Person-against-society - the protagonist battles against the larger organizations of society
(or a system of beliefs held by society).

Person-against-nature - the protagonist is threatened by a component of nature.

Theme of Racism

Discuss the racism towards Asians in the early to mid 20th Century America as depicted in the book. Give specific references to events that occurred in the lives of the Wakatsukis.

Search the WWW for historical/factual events. Include a search on the Manzanar Internment Camp.

Jeanne's Teenage Years

Discuss some of the difficulties Jeanne (and other teenagers) experienced trying to live as Japanese Americans.

Describe some of the conflicts Jeanne felt as she tried to be accepted by both her traditional family and the American caucasian society. How was she "torn" between two cultures?

Section Three - Farewell to Manzanar

Describe the purpose of Section Three.

Why is it important for Jeanne to return to Manzanar to say a final farewell?

Explain in detail the significance of the book's title.