Study Guide

Farewell to Manzanar Part II, Chapter 14

By Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston and James D. Houston

Part II, Chapter 14

In the Firebreak

  • Adult Jeanne is completely thankful that Papa stopped her from turning Catholic, but as a kid, she's seriously angry.
  • But that's her dad in those days—sometimes totally chill, other times completely domineering.
  • In fact, Jeanne becomes more and more distant from her father, and when she needs someone, she turns to her mother or brothers instead.
  • One time, she ends up feeling completely lonely and isolated.
  • It happens when her oldest sister returns to camp from Reno, pregnant.
  • Because her husband has been drafted, Eleanor can't survive on her own while pregnant in Reno, so she decides to re-enter camp life willingly.
  • On the day she goes into labor with her first baby, Jeanne gets totally cut off from her mother and father.
  • Her parents are completely worried about Eleanor because she's going through a difficult labor and because the camp's clinic isn't exactly the safest place to have a kid.
  • Jeanne's walking with her father to the clinic when her mother starts calling out his name—she looks completely freaked out, so of course Jeanne and her father think the worst.
  • But it turns out that Eleanor actually gave birth to a healthy boy.
  • Her parents turn to each other and form this super-private bonding moment that only couples share, which of course leaves Jeanne totally out in the cold.
  • It's the first time she feels completely alone and detached from everything around her.
  • It's not a bad thing—she feels awe at all that tenderness she sees between them.
  • Call it growing up into adulthood.