Farewell To Manzanar

by Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston, James D. Houston

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What routine did Jeanne's family establish after the loyalty oath crisis in Farewell to Manzanar?

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After the loyalty oath crisis, the lives of Jeanne's family and the other residents of Manzanar "took on a pattern that would hold for the duration of the war".  Despite all the pain it caused, the loyalty oath had the positive effect of speeding up the relocation program, and as individuals and families began to leave the camp for employment away from the coastal areas, the congestion in the barracks eased.  Mama was able to secure four rooms for the Wakatsuki family in Block 28, which served to double their living space.  By this time, materials had become available for the residents to use to make their units more livable.  Subdued and resigned, the internees for the most part had "accepted their lot and did what they could to make the best of a bad situation".

Manzanar became "a world unto itself, with its own logic and familiar ways".  The residents learned "to contain (their) rage and...despair", trying to re-create an environment that was normal in every way possible.  Papa still had his still, but was not drinking as much as before, and he spent a lot of his time outdoors "puttering", carving myrtle limbs into furniture and building a rock garden out of stones he hauled in off the desert.  Mama had a job at the hospital as a dietician, and Woody, while waiting to get drafted, clerked at the co-op general store.  The younger children attended the camp schools, which, as reflected in the high school yearbook for 1943-1944, were very much like the schools that they had attended before coming to Manzanar (Chapter 12).

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