Study Guide

Farewell to Manzanar Dreams, Hopes, and Plans

By Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston and James D. Houston

Dreams, Hopes, and Plans

Farewell to Manzanar is all about dashed hopes, failed dreams, and foiled plans, so it's easy to presume that this book is going to be a downer through and through. But the book is also just as much about how human willpower and endurance can create new and different dreams, hopes, and plans; how, in other words, to create a new kind of beauty out of total dreck.

Questions About Dreams, Hopes, and Plans

  1. How do Papa and Mama deal with their changed lives differently?
  2. Does Jeanne's schoolgirl's dream of being queen actually change? Or does it stay the same even as she becomes an adult?
  3. What are the similarities and differences between Woody's dreams and Papa's dreams? Are they more similar or more different?
  4. How does the Japanese concept of endurance—shikata ga nai—relate to dreams, hopes, and plans?

Chew on This

Jeanne's dream to be a queen is basically another way of saying she wants to be a popular, white girl.

Women in this book are more resilient and adaptable because they aren't so rigid about their dreams, hopes, and plans.