Jeanne’s oldest brother. After Papa is arrested and taken to Fort Lincoln, Woody becomes the informal head of the family. Having inherited Papa’s resourcefulness and personal flair, he takes to this role well. He’s able to comfort Mama and cheer up his younger siblings, making the drudgery of life at Manzanar seem exciting, and he can come up with a plan to solve any difficulty. For Jeanne, Woody is a beacon of tranquility and hope in the midst of a bewildering experience. Once Papa returns Woody expects to relinquish this role, but as Papa has succumbed to alcoholism and despair, Woody unhappily continues to be in charge of the family. His role comes to represent both the family’s determination to stick together and the impossibility of preserving traditional family structures throughout internment.
Woody Character Timeline in Farewell to Manzanar
The timeline below shows where the character Woody appears in Farewell to Manzanar. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1: What is Pearl Harbor
...exciting yelling, especially in Papa’s boat—he likes to “give orders.” Jeanne’s oldest brothers, Bill and Woody, are Papa’s crew, and when everything is ready they sail away from the wharf. Papa... (full context)
...always set sail together and share their nets. Standing at the harbor, Mama, Billy and Woody’s wives, and Jeanne wave goodbye. They don’t know exactly when the men will return, as... (full context)
...time they stop when they’re still in sight and soon start returning to shore. Chizu, Woody’s wife, wonders aloud what’s wrong. While the boats are still sailing in, a cannery worker... (full context)
Chapter 2: Shikata Ga Nai
...Island: pottery, treasured tableware, and kimonos that Granny brought from Japan. When they pack up Woody’s car to leave, Mama’s beautiful china just won’t fit, and she reluctantly decides to sell... (full context)
...units, furnished with army cots, even though there are twelve members of the family, including Woody’s baby daughter. They try to partition the units with blankets in order to maintain some... (full context)
Chapter 3: A Different Kind of Sand
Chapter 4: A Common Master Plan
Chapter 6: Whatever He Did Had Flourish
Chapter 11: Yes Yes No No
...However, he wants to prevent people from bullying the whole block into signing “No No.” Woody wants to accompany him, but Papa insists the meeting is only for heads of households.... (full context)
Chapter 12: Manzanar, U.S.A.
...a recently-vacated apartment. In Block 28, the Wakatsukis have twice as much space; Ray and Woody cover the walls with sheetrock and install linoleum on the floors. There are three colors... (full context)
Chapter 14: In the Firebreak
...has very little blood plasma, and one of Jeanne’s sisters had to receive blood from Woody during labor, while her sister-in-law actually died from post-partum hemorrhaging. Papa and Mama have been... (full context)
Chapter 15: Departures
Chapter 18: Ka-ke, Near Hiroshima: April 1946
...away quickly, in accordance with the Japanese tradition of not showing impolite interest in gifts. Woody senses that they’re embarrassed to be in dire need of such basic supplies. In fact,... (full context)
Chapter 20: A Double Impulse