Study Guide

Farewell to Manzanar Part II, Chapter 13

By Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston and James D. Houston

Part II, Chapter 13

Outings, Explorations

  • Things start to get really comfortable for Jeanne.
  • She really liked school with its routine and order, and they even get real teachers hired by the government—teachers like her 4th-grade teacher (the best teacher she ever had) from the Appalachians who totally prepares her for school outside of camp too.
  • Even better are the recreation programs they have, including hiking and camping outside the camp.
  • On Jeanne's first experience camping, a Caucasian young woman named Lois leads them for an overnight trip.
  • Lois is into this handsome Nisei guy who leads the trip with her.
  • Lois and the guy sneak off together… we'll let you guess why… but Jeanne doesn't care—she's just happy that she gets to be outside for a night.
  • That said, if given the choice, Jeanne would never leave the camp for permanent freedom outside of the camp.
  • After all, you've got mountains surrounding the camp, and if you were to get past the mountains, there's Death Valley on the other side.
  • In other words, there's nothing to run to.
  • But a night away or a few hours here or there is nothing to sneeze at, and this is what Jeanne looks forward to more than anything else.
  • Jeanne also gets into a bunch of other activities, like baton twirling, and she gets obsessed with a traditional dance form called odori, taught by this old Japanese woman.
  • Only she doesn't take classes with the woman.
  • Instead, she gets details about the classes from girls she knows.
  • Problem is, the girls totally fool her into doing things like putting cold cream in her hair and not wearing underwear—all in the name of becoming an odori dancer.
  • She gets into ballet afterward and signs up for lessons with this old, overweight Japanese woman who used to be a good dancer.
  • Only the whole thing is kind of sad—imagine this old woman trying to dance like she used to. Not pretty.
  • In fact, when she takes off her shoes and shows her bloody toes, Jeanne gets totally turned off.
  • She signs up because she feels bad for the old woman, but she never takes the class again.
  • The last thing she gets into is Catholicism—Jeanne really wants to get baptized because there's this orphan girl in the camp who looks like a princess in her white gown after her baptism. Jeanne wants to be as special as this girl is, but Papa stands in her way.
  • He refuses to let her get baptized because she's only ten years old and because once she gets baptized, she'll only ever be able to marry a Catholic and no Japanese boys are Catholic.
  • Sister Bernadette goes to their barracks to convince him otherwise, but Papa's willing to get physical with her in order to get her to leave Jeanne alone, so Jeanne never does get baptized.