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Summer Reading

  • Date Submitted: 11/21/2013 02:15 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 62.8 
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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. “She would quickly subordinate her own desires to those of the family or the community, because she knew cooperation was the only way to survive.” (Houston 33) The Japanese place high value on privacy and dignity. The American government, however, did not allow the Japanese to abide by these values. The occupants in the Manzanar camp have great endurance in the face of hardship. They had to live in cramped barracks with knotholes and slits. Also, the latrine had no partitions. Most of the Japanese viewed the Manzanar camp as an adventure rather than a hardship. This is what got them through. The Japanese believed that fighting against their oppressors is useless; instead they worked together to survive. They took surplus material and sewed it into useable garments, and shared cardboard boxes used as toilet partitions. The expression “shikata ga nai” represents the forbearance and motivation that the Japanese display throughout the novel.
The Japanese Issei thought they deserved the treatment inside the internment camps because of their loyalty to two countries. “When your mother and your father are having a fight, do you want them to kill each other? Or do you just want them to stop fighting?” (Houston 64) George Ko Wakatsuki left Japan for the great opportunities in America....

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