Farewell to Manzanar


Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston

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Farewell to Manzanar: Chapter 10 Summary & Analysis

In an aside, Jeanne takes on the perspective of her brother-in-law Kaz, the foreman of a reservoir crew and one of the few people allowed to work outside the camp. The night of the riot they are given pickaxes to defend themselves in case rioters accuse them of being inus and attack. They drive out to the chlorine shed and then settle into the small shack where they will spend the next twenty-four hours attending to the reservoir.
Like Papa, Kaz is neither aligned entirely with the government or the anti-government forces. He’s cooperating with the administration, but his work also helps provide basic services and improve quality of life at Manzanar.
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As Kaz is lying on a bunk, the door swings open and four soldiers run in, telling the “Japs” to get up against the wall. Startled, Kaz asks what’s going on; the young sergeant, apparently believing he’s discovered some saboteurs, demands to know why they’ve left camp and why they have weapons. The sergeant leaves to confirm their story, and until he comes back Kaz and the rest of his crew stand in the cabin with the other soldiers’ guns trained on them, knowing the panicky young men could shoot at any moment.
The sergeant seems clearly panicked and unprepared to deal with an actual insurrection, but Kaz surmises that his panic leads to aggression and can potentially be fatal. This is a small reflection of the unchecked and unsubstantiated fear that leads to the internment process in the first place.
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