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In fact, her father indoctrinates her not to label or group herself with others.
The bombing of Pearl Harbor and the subsequent internment of Japanese- Americans propels Jeanne into a world where she is grouped by her racial identity and therefore is no longer seen as an individual, but seen as a member of a larger group that, at that time, were despised by many Americans.
While in the camp, she is, for the first time, in a community exclusively made up of other Japanese-Americans.
Confused and angry, he cannot understand how and why such things can happen in America.
Although it is not his place of birth, he clearly expresses his willingness to support America’s efforts.
Although the camps are not suitable for human residence nor are they safe, they negotiate, barter and work collectively, including sharing food, supplies and other basic necessities. Community takes on a very different meaning as each member plays a different role.
Mama and other women in the community find themselves responsible for holding their family’s together while their husbands are working in the camps, imprisoned or fighting overseas.Unfortunately Jeanne’s father, Ko, never rebounds from his experiences.His family suffers because of his frustrations and his dreams become unattainable and he eventually withers away.She is being torn between who she is, who society thinks she is and who her father wants her to be.Ultimately, Jeanne, even as an adult looking back, realizes that Manzanar served as a birthplace that forced her to make sense of the complexity of her multiple identities at a young age.She has to contend with understanding her young and still evolving identity in light of how others perceive her.This is compounded when Jeanne reenters American society and she experiences implicit and explicit prejudice based on the way she looks and the assumptions that people make about Japanese-Americans.Oldest children also play important roles in financially supporting their families.Rather than being individualistic and working for their own personal well-being, they discover that there is greater strength in communal work.Yet, even after pleading his case, he is deemed guilty, wrongfully convicted and his family detained.As Jeanne recounts throughout her narrative, her father is not alone.