Wednesday, November 10, 2010

blog post

Emily Barbo

"Beloved Haiti, there is no place like you.

I had to leave you before I could understand you…"

The format that Edwidge Danticat chooses to write her first story is very unique, and over all a very effective technique to give additional meaning to the book. The reader is thrown into two different situations with very different context, switching back and forth between two different voices and trying to discern who is speaking and what is going on. In a way, I think that Danticat is very deliberately trying to disorient the reader, bringing us onto the same level that the narrators of the stories have been brought to by the struggles in Haiti.

I thought that the mention of radio was really important. Jean Dominique was a Haitian radio journalist who was constantly fighting for the rights and the Haitian people and trying to bring transparency to the government level. His radio show was to inspire and create change. Once forced into exile he had to wait 6 years before it was safe for him to return to Haiti and to his broadcast. He was welcomed with open arms by the Haitian people. The radio was a means for ideas and for hope to travel.

Another form of travel that I think occurs in Danticat's stories is that of pain. Even though the different stories take place in different settings and circumstances, the struggles that occur in each are very similar. Mothers, femininity, power, and love are all topics that the stories relate to. The struggle to hold on to your history, identity and the future are constantly appearing. These women went through unbelievable events of pain and unjust suffering, the fact that they are all related (so far) is also astounding. It reminds me a lot of the shame passed down onto Malu by her grandmother because of her incomplete tattoo. These women are being punished for things they have no control over. My heart aches for them.

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