After returning from North Dakota, what had Jeanne's father become in Farewell to Manzanar?What caused Kiyo to hit his father?

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dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

After returning from North Dakota, Jeanne's Father, Ko Wakatsuki, was angry and bitter,

"not the same man...something terrible had happened to him in North Dakota...He had aged ten years.  He looked over sixty, gaunt, wilted as his shirt, underweight, leaning on (a) cane and favoring his right leg".

He was a shadow of the man he used to be, and could find no place in the upside-down world with which he was faced (Chapter 5).

Jeanne says that her father had never been what one might call "a great man", not "even a very successful man".  She remembers him as having been "a poser, a braggart, and a tyrant", but even so, he had always held onto his dignity and self-respect, and "could work well at any task he turned his hand to".  No one ever found out what had happened to him in North Dakota because he would never speak of it, but the family did manage to learn that somehow, both his feet had been frostbitten there, and he had almost become an alcoholic (Chapter 6).

When Ko Wakatsuki arrived back at Manzanar, he pretty much "just sat there" in brooding isolation.  He never socialized, and Jeanne realized later that among their neighbors he was condemned, suspected of having bought his release from Fort Lincoln, because he had been released earlier than the other men.  After awhile, Papa concocted a homemade still, and began to drink all day.  This intensified his dark, dangerous mood, and he would frequently become violent.  One night, Papa was acting particularly "crazy", and began viciously beathing his wife with his cane.  Fearing that this time, he would kill her, Kiyo leaped from his bed and "punched Papa square in the face...bloodying the nose of God" (Chapter 8).

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Farewell To Manzanar

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