What does the anecdote about the silver wedding annivesary illustrate in Farewell to Manzanar?

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dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The anecdote about Mr. and Mrs. Wakatsuki's silver wedding anniversary celebrated in 1940 illustrates the climax of their family life during the prewar years. Things were as they should be; Papa was the traditional family patriarch, "elegant...in a brand-new double-breasted worsted suit, with vest and silk tie and stickpin, while Mama was the demure wife, dressed in "a long, crocheted, rose-colored dress." The proud couple stood at the head of the huge dining room table, surrounded by their children,

"a lot of in-laws...and other Japanese families, and Papa's fishing cronies...his drinking buddies."

The table itself is piled high with gifts, and another table is laden with food

"in glistening abundance - chicken teriyaki, pickled vegetables, egg rolls, cucumber and abalone salad, the seaweed-wrapped rice balls called sushi, shrimp, prawns, fresh lobster, and finally, taking up what seemed like half the table cloth, a great gleaming roast pig with a bright red apple in its mouth."

The scene is significant because it illustrates the peace and harmony the family enjoyed, as well as its comfortable affluence. Papa is in charge, and things are going well. The Wakatsukis are blessed with family, friends, plenty, and stability; it appears that they have achieved the American Dream (Chapter 6).

Read the study guide:
Farewell To Manzanar

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