Farewell to Manzanar Essay

Nizia Alam English B-4 3-21-09 Farewell to Manzanar Essay 1. Analyze Houston’s use of rhetorical devices in FTM…How and Why does Houston use rhetorical devices? Rhetorical devices are used in almost every piece of literature. They embellish stories, poems, speeches so they aren’t just boring words, but interesting and fun to read. In Farewell to Manzanar Jeanne experiences a range of different emotions like anger, disappointment, confusion, and happiness.

Houston uses the rhetorical devices anecdote, symbolism and pathos to convey her experiences and feelings at Manzanar more effectively and induce a response from the audience. The author uses pathos during the last page of the book when the Wakatsuki family is ready to leave and Papa gives Jeanne and the girls a ride on his newly bought car. Her use of that rhetorical device makes the reader understand what she is going through and it creates a happy response for the reader.

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As Papa drives the car he is rekindled with his “defiant craziness” (Houston 156) and Jeanne “believed in him completely just then, believed in the fierceness flashing in his wild eyes. ” (Houston 156). Right then, the reader knows that Jeanne no longer mistrusts Papa anymore and the reader is filled with joy, because Jeanne’s conflict with her father has disappeared. The author uses symbolism when Jeanne has a recurring dream about a beautiful blonde girl admired by everyone. Jeanne experiences so much pain from the dream and it makes the reader feel sorry.

As Jeanne watches the dream she is “simply emptied” (Houston 133) and she wants to “cry out” (133) because the beautiful blonde “is something she [I] can never be, some possibility in her [my] life that can never be fulfilled” (133). The girl symbolizes how much Jeanne wants to be accepted and it makes the audience sad because her desire will never be fulfilled. The author uses an anecdote when she describes an orphan who became baptized. The story is short but the reader discovers Jeanne desire for being the shining center of attention and the reader is surprised at the lengths she would go to be at the center.

The orphan was “dressed like a bride, in a white gown, white lace hood, and sheer veil” (Houston 88) and Jeanne was “filled with awe” (88) and “wonder at the notion that this girl, this orphan, could become such a queen” (88). Jeanne decides to get baptized for the sole purpose of being like that queen. To effectively convey Jeanne’s experiences and feelings at Manzanar and induce a response from the readers, Houston uses the rhetorical devices; symbolism, anecdote and pathos.

She uses pathos when she realizes she believes in Papa and the audience is happy. Houston uses symbolism during Jeanne’s dream of a beautiful and admired blonde who represents her craving for acceptance and the readers are sad since her desire won’t be fulfilled. She uses an anecdote when she wants to be baptized so she can be the shining center of attention and the readers are surprised how much she wants to be the center. Without rhetorical devices, would the audience feel nothing as they read Farewell to Manzanar?


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