Study Guide

Farewell to Manzanar Justice and Judgment

By Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston and James D. Houston

Justice and Judgment

There's a reason why people say hindsight is 20/20. Making a good decision—having the judgment and perspective to do so—is a lot harder than hindsight makes it appear. Farewell to Manzanar doesn't let anyone off the hook when it comes to the fundamentally unjust act of interning Japanese-American people, but it does let us understand how hard it was to judge what was just during wartime—even from the perspective of the internees.

Questions About Justice and Judgment

  1. How do racism and sexism impact the treatment of Japanese-American men during World War II in this book?
  2. What are the differences and similarities between the December Riot in camp and the riots against Japanese-Americans outside of camp?
  3. Is Papa's physical violence an appropriate or inappropriate response to the attacks against his character?
  4. If you were an FBI agent faced with the job of placing Japanese-Americans into internment camps, would you follow orders?

Chew on This

The U.S. government was justified in locking up Japanese-American people because it was wartime.

It wasn't just to put all Japanese-Americans along the West Coast into camps and the government should have known better.