Breath, Eyes, Memory By Edwidge Danticat Analysis

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Breath, Eyes, Memory is a coming-of-age novel that treats identity formation and women's experiences in the context of rural Haitian culture and the Haitian diaspora. Specifically, the novel deals with the question of political and social liberation, and the role of community in both furthering and ending oppression. To do this she uses cultural practices and men’s role in Haitian women’s oppression, but although oppressed shows the possibility of being liberated. In the novel “Breath, Eyes, Memory” by Edwidge Danticat, the main character Sophie Caco lives in communities that further oppression in her society. Haitian society in general oppresses women as states Patrick Bellegarde-Smith in chapter one of his book Haiti: The Breached Citadel, “Haitian women are oppressed by the same patterns of sex discrimination that oppress women in other parts of the world, and the oppression has intensified since Haiti has been dominated by the Western world” (Bellegarde-Smith 36). One form of oppression that Sophie encounters is when Martine starts “testing” her, a Haitian custom in which the mother inserts a finger into …show more content…
To show how oppression affects Haitian women, Danticat uses cultural traditions and family stories. While at the same time the author shows how one’s community helps to end oppression and how there is a potential for liberation. I believe Danticat is trying to say that one cannot be liberated where liberation is not possible. An example of this is how women in Haiti are heavily oppressed and in that environment these women can never or very rarely be liberated from the oppression. That is simply because the conditions in which they life don’t allow it. But if you remove yourself from the oppressed environment, then and only then, you can truly be

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