Summer Reading Essay

1126 words - 5 pages

English Teacher
Summer Reading
4 September 2013
Acceptance of Internment Treatment
In the novels Farewell to Manzanar and Slaughterhouse-Five, the prisoners felt that their treatment in the internment camps is deserved. The Japanese cooperated because they had loyalty for American and it was the best way to survive. They felt the need to be accepted, but at the same time understood the prejudice will always exist. The American soldiers were weak and not the slightest bit prepared for the war. They knew this and saw the imprisonment as a blessing rather than a hardship.
In Farewell to Manzanar cooperation is crucial to the characters because they felt that it is the only way to survive. ...view middle of the document...

He still had strong ties to his Japanese culture and still saw Japan as his homeland. America was his adopted home, even though he isn’t granted citizenship; George appreciates the opportunities it brought his children. The charges of the military interrogator and the Loyalty Oath put George and the rest of the Issei under a difficult position. They had to declare loyalty to one country, which would ruin their connection with the other.
The desire of acceptance is another factor of why the Japanese allowed the treatment. “I feel no malice toward this girl. I don’t even envy her. Watching, I am simply emptied, and in the dream I want to cry out, because she is something I can never be, some possibility in my life that can never be fulfilled.” (Houston 172) Jeanne dreams about a beautiful blonde who is liked by everyone because of her friend Radine’s rise in popularity. This girl in Jeanne’s dream represents her desire for acceptance. All Jeanne wants is to be liked and admired by her peers. She does not hate the girl in her dreams, and she does not envy Radine for her accomplishments. Jeanne has a great sense of maturity about her, but she realizes that her dreams can never come true. Jeanne has come to terms with the fact that prejudice against those of Japanese ancestry is a simple fact of life. When she is excluded from girl scouts and sororities, Jeanne doesn’t complain or cry. She accepted the fact that things will never change. Jeanne blames herself for her differences.
The Japanese allowed the treatment because they accepted the fact that prejudice will always exist. “I smiled and sat down, suddenly aware of what being of Japanese ancestry was going to be like. I wouldn’t be faced with physical attack, or with overt shows of hatred. Rather, I would be seen as someone foreign, or as someone other than American, or perhaps not be seen at all.” (Houston 158) Radine was surprised at Jeanne’s ability to speak English fluently. This event allowed Jeanne to see prejudice and understand what it means to be Japanese. Radine’s reaction made Jeanne realize that hatred and prejudice are two very different things. Prejudice is not always meant to be hurtful. Radine made her comment based on beliefs from her mother. An...

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