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Farewell to Manzanar Quotes

22 of the best book quotes from Farewell to Manzanar
  1. #1
    “I couldn’t understand why he was home all day, when Mama had to go out working. I was ashamed of him for that and, in a deeper way, for being what had led to our imprisonment, that is, for being so unalterably Japanese.”
  2. #2
    ″[Mama] would quickly subordinate her own desires to those of the family or the community, because she knew cooperation was the only way to survive.”
  3. #3
    “I feel no malice toward this girl. I don’t even envy her. Watching, I am simply emptied, and in the dream I want to cry out, because she is something I can never be, some possibility in my life that can never be fulfilled.”
  4. #4
    “The people who had it hardest during the first few months were young couples like these, many of whom had married just before the evacuation began, in order not to be separated and sent to different camps. Our two rooms were crowded, but at least it was all in the family.”
  5. #5
    “I don’t understand all this hate in the world.”
  6. #6
    “About all he had left at this point was his tremendous dignity . . . Ten children and a lot of hard luck had worn him down, had worn away most of the arrogance he came to this country with. But he still had dignity, and he would not let those deputies push him out the door. He led them.”
  7. #7
    “Mama’s first concern now was to keep the family together, and once the war began, she felt safer there [Terminal Island] than isolated racially in Ocean Park.”
  1. #8
    “Papa’s life ended at Manzanar . . . Until this trip I had not been able to admit that my own life really began there.”
  2. #9
    “He had held onto his self-respect, he dreamed grand dreams, and he could work well at any task he turned his hand to.”
  3. #10
    “It was the first time I had lived among other Japanese, or gone to school with them, and I was terrified all the time.”
  4. #11
    “We woke early, shivering and coated with dust that had blown up through the knotholes and in through the slits around the doorway. During the night Mama had unpacked all our clothes and heaped them on our beds for warmth.”
  5. #12
    “The band teacher knew I had more experience than anyone else competing that year . . . But he was afraid to use me. He had to go speak to the board about it, and to some of the parents, to see if it was allowable for an Oriental to represent the high school in such a visible way.”
  6. #13
    “I smiled and sat down, suddenly aware of what being of Japanese ancestry was going to be like. I wouldn’t be faced with physical attack, or with overt shows of hatred. Rather, I would be seen as someone foreign, or as someone other than American, or perhaps not be seen at all.”
  7. #14
    “The simple truth is the camp was no more ready for us when we got there than we were ready for it. We had only the dimmest ideas of what to expect.”
  1. #15
    “They cannot deprive us of our homes and our fishing boats and our automobiles and lock us up for three years and then just turn us loose into the cities again. They have to help us get a new start.”
  2. #16
    “Some of the older folks resisted leaving right up to the end and had to have their bags packed for them and be physically lifted and shoved onto the buses.”
  3. #17
    “The name Manzanar meant nothing to us when we left Boyle Heights. We didn’t know where it was or what it was. We went because the government ordered us to.”
  4. #18
    “Moving under what appeared to be government protection, to an area less directly threatened by the war seemed not such a bad idea at all. For some it actually sounded like a fine adventure.”
  5. #19
    “You might say it would have happened sooner or later anyway, this sliding apart of such a large family, in postwar California. But there is no escaping the fact that our internment accelerated the process, made it happen so suddenly it was almost tangible. Not only did we stop eating at home, there was no longer a home to eat in.”
  6. #20
    “A couple of years after the camps opened, sociologists studying the life noticed what had happened to the families . . . My own family, after three years of mess hall living, collapsed as an integrated unit.”
  7. #21
    “As his youngest child I had grown up blessed with special attentions. Now, more and more I found myself cut off from him. When I needed reassurance I would get it from Woody or Chizu, or from Mama, who had more of herself to give by this time.”
  8. #22
    “I have been living in this country nine years longer than you have. Do you realize that? Yet I am prevented by law from becoming a citizen. I am prevented by law from owning land. I am now separated from my family without cause.”
Book Topics › Japanese
Children's Books About Japanese

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