Those who answer no to loyalty questions will be deported. Both Papa and Woody answer yes to the questions and in that instance, Papa attacks a man who calls him an inu or traitor.
Pressures and tensions are somewhat relieved when the Wakatsukis transfer to a better barracks near a fruit orchard and manage to survive through gardening (Houston 2001, Sparknotes 2005). The camp as backdrop now resembles a typical and small American town but still fenced in from the outside world. Bill and Jeanne adjust to their new world, Bill forms a bank called "The Jive Bombers," while she takes on certain Japanese and American hobbies and religious interests. Jeanne tells how she has begun distancing from Papa, while he and Mama are drawn closer by the birth of a grandchild. Family ties continue to severe with the drafting of Woody to join the famous all-Nisei 442nd Combat Regiment, despite Papa's objection. Woody becomes aware of his father's racial pride only when he visits his father's aunt Toyo in Hiroshima. The typical gracefulness, sentimentality and warmth of the Japanese are ingrained in her and Woody gets to appreciate these traits in his family and race.
The U.S. Supreme Court presents the internees with a gift of freedom that Christmas after deciding that the internment policy of 1942 was illegal (Wikipedia 2005). But many of the internees are hesitant to leave, not having places to call home, but they are still driven away. Papa decides to go back to Long Beach on board a broken-down blue sedan, which he buys for the purpose. The Wakatsukis attempt to survive as a family in that old place they left at the start of the cruel War and settle in a housing project called Cabrillo Homes. There, Jeanne meets and makes friends with Radine, a white girl, who admires Jeanne's ability to speak English. The girls go to high school, where Jeanne discovers the advantages open only to whites like Radine (Houston 2001, Sparknotesw 2005). The realization drives Jeanne into an inner world and almost makes her drop out of school. But Papa makes another attempt at preserving his family by moving to San Jose and take on berry farming as an occupation. Jeanne is encouraged to make a similar attempt at school life. In that attempt, she is nominated as Carnival Queen and, despite the conspiracy of antagonistic teachers, wins with the help of a supporter, Leonard Rodriguez. Papa is displeased with Jeanne's indecent display of her sexuality before American boys and views it as a loss of Japanese dignity. Jeanne compromises by agreeing to wear a conservative dress for the coronation. When the audience whispers, Jeanne realizes that an exotic or conservative outfit does not represent what she really is. She knows she must contend with that reality.
With a family of her own, Jeanne revisits the much-changed Manzanar site in April 1972 to get in touch with that reality she has evaded to the point of believing that she only imagined living in the camp as a prisoner. In that very site, memories come back as she walks through the ruins. She comes to terms with the truth that her life started in this site where her father's ended and his stubborn attempts to uphold and preserve Japanese values in his family and in himself despite upheavals (Houston 2001, Sparknotes 2005).
Scholars evolved the Family Systems Theory from the General Systems Theory in applying it on families and other social systems (Morgaine 2001). A system is a bounded set of interrelated elements that exhibit behavior as a trait (Constantine 1986 as qtd in Morgaine, Comella 2001) or a collection of objects related to each other by some regular interaction or interdependence (Webster as qtd in Morgaine). Families are considered systems because they are composed of interrelated elements or objectives, exhibit coherent behaviors, have regular interactions and are independent on one another. These systems have interrelated elements and structure; interact in patterns; have boundaries and can be viewed on a continuum as open to closed; function by the Composition Law; utilize messages and rules to shape members; and have subsystems (Morgaine).
A family is a system and the elements are the members of that family (Morgaine 2001, Comella 2001). Each element or member has characteristics. There are relationships between the elements or members and these relationships function interdependently. These interrelationships form the structure, which includes membership in a system and the boundary or limit between the system and its environment. Interactions within the system or family occur in predictable patterns of interaction in repetitive cycles to help maintain family equilibrium and as clues to how they should function. Each family or system also has boundaries or ways of including and excluding elements or members so that the dividing line between those within and those without the system is clearly made. An open boundary allows outside or external influences into the family or system, while a closed boundary isolates members or elements from the environment. No system or family can be completely opened or closed (Morgaine).
The system or family functions according to the Composition Law, which states that the whole is more than the sum of its parts (Morgaine 2001, Comella 2001). Every system is an organic whole, with wholistic themes and images running through the system. Unique behaviors can be ascribed to a single system or family without individual members or elements exhibiting them. There are also prescribed, repetitive but unwritten messages and rules, which are called "relationship agreements" that limit or dictate behaviors to members over time. These messages and rules are powerful, controlling, perpetuating and induce guilt when violated. Examples of messages are "be responsible" and "be perfect." And the family or system has subsystems, coalitions or alliances. Each develops its own rules, boundaries and unique characteristics. Their memberships can change over time (Morgaine).
The Wakatsukis are a system, being a family. As a Japanese family, they observe predictable patterns of interaction that must remain repetitive in maintaining family or system equilibrium and in establishing the proper functioning of its members (Morgraine 2001, Comella 2001). Since the Wakatsukis were placed in the camp where they had to adjust to hard and undignified living conditions, these patterns ceased to be predictable, not only physically but also psychologically. For three years living as prisoners in the camp and treated as traitors or threats to national security, they had to compromise the typical Japanese qualities of decency, privacy, honesty and respect. They were unable to keep the boundaries between the family and the environment. Accusations of disloyalty and spying against Papa placed extreme pressure on his inner values, wherein an admission or denial would redound to the same splintering of his personal equilibrium. Woody's and Kiyo's violations of qualities typically Japanese also presented another insult to the integrity of their parents' racial beliefs and values, which were jeopardized by their residing in the U.S. (Morgaine, Comella).
Precisely because of their residence in California, the messages and rules used y the system to shape members could not be effective against the physical and cultural environment in which the Wakatsuki children grew up (McCune 2001, Comella 2001). These messages and rules were transparent or applicable only to Papa and Mama who absorbed them from their respective families. Papa and Mama can only feel the frustration that results from a disjointed culture or family, that is why Jeanne can write that Papa's life ended in the camp where hers began.
The family or system also consists of subsystems, made up of small groups of 2 to three members or persons (Morgaine 2001, Comella 2001), with their own rules, boundaries and unique characteristics. In the case of Wakatsuki family, these subsystems are the individual families of the children, such as that of Jeanne and James. Jeanne was born in the U.S. And adopted American ways although something in her was not entirely American.
Some quotations in the book that express the turmoil undergone by the Wakatsukis are: "Mama would quickly subordinate her own desires to those of the family of community, because she knew cooperation was the only way to survive. At the same time, she placed a high premium on personal privacy, respected it in others and insisted upon it for herself;" "when your mother and your father are having a fight, do you want them to kill each other? Or do you just want them to stop fighting?;" "I would be seen as someone foreign or as someone other than American, or perhaps not to be seen at all;" Watching, I am simply emptied, and in the dream, I want to cry out, because she is something I can never be, some possibility in my life that can never be fulfilled;" and "Papa's life ended at Manzanar. Until this trip, I had not been able to admit my own life really began there (Houston 2001, Sparknotes 2005)."
This dilemma is faced by…