Thursday, November 18, 2010

Krik? Krak! is unlike any novel we have read thus far, as I find that Edwidge Danticat’s work has the heart-wrenching responsibility to expose to us readers that travel may not always be a leisurely activity. While we have seen characters traveling to foreign lands in hopes of a better life, like Ela in They Who Do Not Grieve, Danticat’s characters prove to us that traveling provides a much needed escape in separate life or death situations. The collection of short stories helped me realize that continuously moving may be the only way to ensure survival, as well as the fact that death can sometimes serve as a welcomed escape from the horrors of human existence. Krik? Krak! may not be my favorite piece thus far in the semester, as I feel is it geared towards a female audience; however, there are some crucial lessons to be learned throughout its pages. We’ve watched characters such as the nameless narrator, Josephine and Lili embody a sense of desperation and entrapment to their beloved Haiti, yet how is it possible to find beauty in a land run by absolute monsters? We’ve also seen the other narrator, Josephine’s mother, and Guy find freedom in the darkest depths of death. No matter our situation, whether static or on the run, our soul is on a constant journey towards a sense of understanding. The road to understanding hatred and evil will eternally lead to separate dead ends, yet the path to the acceptance of such is one that distinguish between those who travel to survive and those who travel to live. There is a drastic difference between living and surviving. Without taking the time for love and finding the beauty of life you are simply surviving. Yet, the persistence shown by the narrators of “Children of the Sea” shows a remarkable sign of life not everyone is lucky enough to embody.

As previously mentioned, there is a definite sense of external travel in Danticat’s Krik? Krak!. The male narrator escapes Haiti on a makeshift boat, Josephine’s mother fled the Dominican Republic a few precious hours away from labor, and Guy leaves his land with the help of a stolen hot air balloon. Although these characters embark on actual journeys, I’ve come to the conclusion that the travel crucial to these short stories is entirely internal. The journeys are incredibly challenging, and all involve the strides needed to overcome an internal struggle. After reading the first half of this book, terms like “we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it” or “that task is quite the climb” make much more sense. Internal struggles and outdoor excursions can be directly related. Before setting out on an expedition, one must prepare and assess all the possible diversions, setbacks, and challenges that await them. One must gather all the necessary equipment to ensure the completion of their experience, and once they are ready, they must set out without the turn of a head. Just as in the case of overcoming an internal struggle, it is required to muster up all courage possible and face the obstacle head on. If you set out on the path of life unprepared for its biggest hurdles, then there is no way you will make it as far as your potential would allow.

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