She explains that she has brought Woody to the graveyard to show him where his father was buried in Woody protests that his father is still alive and well in California, but Toyo explains that when the family had no word from him for nine years, they decided he was dead and placed a gravestone for him in the graveyard.
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She says her happiness at hearing that he is alive has erased the trauma that the war put her through. Finally, however, he decides to go bearing a gift of fifty pounds of sugar, which is in short supply due to inflated black market prices. They accept him instantly and welcome his gift with only slight embarrassment. They eat a special meal on nice porcelain, drink precious sake, and Woody sleeps under their finest bedding.
Just as he is falling asleep, he feels a presence near him. It is Toyo, kneeling beside him and crying.
Jane Breskin Zalben
She says he looks just like Papa, she and quickly leaves. Woody conjures up an image of Papa and is amazed at the resemblance between Papa and Toyo. He decides to ask her the next day and to climb the hill Papa used to climb. A few days before leaving Manzanar, Papa decides that the family must leave in style. Papa prefers unique cars and returns with a midnight blue Nash sedan with a dashboard gearshift.
author / artist / illustrator
It takes Papa four days and three trips to transport the remaining nine members of the family back to Long Beach. The car breaks down nearly every hundred miles, but Papa always manages to fix it. Jeanne compares the overpacked car to an Oklahoma family moving west during the Great Depression.
Papa drinks all the way back to Los Angeles but sobers up just before entering the city, as if he is waiting for an attack. Jeanne thinks the FBI men look like characters from a s movie. Papa does not resist arrest, but walks out tall and dignified ahead of the two men. The FBI interrogates many Japanese and begins searching Terminal Island for material that could be used for spying, such as short-wave radio antennae, flashlights, cameras, and even toy swords.
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The family learns that Papa has been taken into custody, but the sons are unable to find out where he has been taken. Mama cries for days, but Jeanne does not cry at all. Her father, who has just purchased his own fishing boat, is living the American dream: he has his own business, grown sons to help him, and a family of ten children who come down to the docks to see him off. The striking picture of the entire fleet of departing boats stopping suddenly and silently on the horizon creates an immediate sense that something has gone wrong. With her description of the slow, silent return of the boats and the worried questions of the family members, Wakatsuki creates a dramatic tension that is released, at least partially, when the cannery worker relays the news of the attack.
- SparkNotes: Farewell to Manzanar: Chapter 1.
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This kind of tension is called dramatic irony, a literary technique in which the audience knows something that the characters do not. Wakatsuki establishes Papa as a dynamic and ultimately likeable character early on in order to show us how greatly the anti-Japanese prejudice in the United States destroys him. She sets up this struggle in the first chapter by establishing Papa as both the most American and the most Japanese of all the characters. He is an alien without citizenship, but he seems to believe firmly in the American dream, and after learning of the Pearl Harbor attack, he even goes so far as to burn his Japanese flag and documents in order to distance himself from Japan.
The last image of him in this chapter is of a dignified prisoner striding confidently ahead of his accusers, enduring his fate with the same quiet patience with which his family and people endure theirs. It is his last moment of real dignity in the memoir and marks the beginning of bad times for both the Wakatsuki family and the Japanese Americans in general.
Home Literature Farewell to Manzanar Chapter 1. Farewell to Manzanar by: Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston. Character List Jeanne Papa Woody. Themes Motifs Symbols Key Facts.
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