Aside from the obvious prejudice that exists between the residents of Jenkinsville, Arkansas and the German prisoners of war who are interned there, Patty Bergen and her family are subject to scrutiny since they are the only Jewish family in the small Southern town. The nearest synagogue is located in Memphis, and the family finds that they are often outcast from various social functions. Another example can be found in the treatment that the one Chinese family in Jenkinsville endures. Chu Lee has been forced to close his business shortly after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Although Mr. Lee is Chinese--and an enemy of the Japanese--his Asian heritage is considered a threat to the town. His store windows are broken one night, and Lee and his family hastily depart for safer territory. Patty doesn't recognize the reasons for their leaving or for the broken windows, but she has overheard one man telling her father that
"Our boys at Pearl Harbor would have got a lot of laughs at the farewell party we gave the Chink."