Farewell to Manzanar

by: Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston

Suggested Essay Topics

1. There are three semifictional chapters in Farewell to Manzanar. Why does Wakatsuki combine fictionalized elements with the nonfiction of a memoir?

2. Discuss the generation gap between Issei immigrants and their Nisei children. How are they different? What characteristics do they share?

3. Wakatsuki never seems bitter about her experience in Manzanar and never directly condemns the relocation policy. Why does she choose not to pass judgment?

4. How does Jeanne’s view of Japanese Americans change throughout the work?

5. How does Wakatsuki develop Papa as a tragic figure? Why does she make him so central to her story?

6. What are the chief differences between Woody and Papa? How are they similar?

7. Wakatsuki gives almost no information about the war in the course of the memoir. Why does she choose to leave the war out of her story for the most part?