In Farewell to Manzanar, what were the effects of the camps on Jeanne?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Farewell to Manzanar, the greatest effect of the camps on Jeanne can be seen in how she perceives her father's change.   

Jeanne is vocal in describing how her Papa was in love with the United States. He had rejected Japan, and fully committed himself to America.  When Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, Papa burns his Japanese flag and cuts himself off from his past. Even though he is a man without a country, he feels that his adopted country is America. The unconditional love that Papa had for America left an impression on his daughter.   

One of the most profound effects of the camps was how Jeanne saw her father change.  Papa is arrested and detained because he was suspected of conspiring against America.  When he returns to the family, Jeanne is struck with how he had been changed as a result of his time in the camps. His optimism and hope in America had been taken away.  Papa could not overcome the experience of being falsely accused, the loss of his possessions, and the stripping of his dignity.  He was unable to look past the wrong done to him by a country that he loved so much. As a result, he succumbed to alcohol.  He became abusive to his family members, most notably to Mama.

While Jeanne experienced hardship in the camp, Papa's change has a significant effect on her.  Jeanne never forgot what it was like to see an exuberant man who loved America change into an old man filled with bitterness and regret.

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Farewell To Manzanar

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