Histo-Bio Reading of the Farming of Bones

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“Our motherland is Spain; theirs is darkest Africa, you understand? They once came here only to cut sugarcane, but now there are more of them than there will ever be cane to cut, you understand? Our problem is one of dominion. Those of us who love our country are taking measures to keep it our own”.

This statement was memorized by both the Haitian and Dominicans prisoners tortured by the soldiers during the “Parsley massacre”, which was a clear illustration of the xenophobia the Tyrannical leader, General Trujillo had. Thus, a wave of genocide which decimates the Haitian emigre population is justified (Brice-Finch, 1999). Farming of the Bones, a novel of Danticat, does not only vividly reveal a detailed, fictional narration of what happened to the Haitians before, during, and after the “El Corte” or provide us a glimpse of the author’s life as a Haitian. The novel, considered to be one of the literary records of history of Haitians, was able to captivate the lives of Haitians in a land they partly owned. The Farming of Bones is a stark reminder of the massacre as well as a tribute to the valor of those Haitians who escaped the terror (Brice-Finch 1999). At that particular time, Haiti was being colonized by the Americans. This event pushed some of the natives to go to Dominican Republic and find work to be able to help their families left in Haiti. Most of them became cane workers, housemaids, houseboys, etc. as expected, most of them were being oppressed by their employers in different ways. Some of them were overworked but underpaid and some are physically abused. However, amabelle did not suffer the same fate as a personal maid since she was adored, if not loved by her employers. Papi and Donya Valencia, her patroness, never failed to treat her right. However, when the tyrant General Trujillo felt that the number of Haitians is continuing to grow, he felt it was high time to “cleanse” their land. After hearing news of the killings, Amabelle then decided to leave her patrons and go back to Haiti with her lover Sebastien and his sister. However, when she was about to leave, the cutting in 1937— a part of General Trujillo’s dictatorial regime, Donya Valencia bled—an event that made her stay at the house a little bit longer. Because of the slight delay, Amabelle was not able to meet Sebastien and Mimi by the church—the meeting place for those who will cross the border with Doctor Javier. It was said, nonetheless, that all those who were to meet in church were arrested by the soldiers together with the doctor and the priests. Amabelle then decided to go and find Mimi and his brother. She journeyed with Yves, a good friend of Sebastien. While they were on their journey, there were several instances of them having themselves almost killed by the Dominicans. Their companions, whim they met on the way, also died one by one and Yves and Amabelle were the only ones to return to their homeland. There, they attempted to have normal lives so they kept themselves busy; however, no matter what they do, it was very clear that the ghosts of the past would haunt them until death.the border region. These instances from the novel clearly mirror the 1937

Parsley massacre and had shown a very precise documentary of the said horrifying event. Such instances are as follows: First, General Trujillo was really the name of the tyrannical leader of Dominican Republic from 1930 to 1961, who ordered to kill all the Haitians so that, generally, they could have their country only for themselves. In the novel, him despising the Haitians was clearly shown in his actions. He was the sole mastermind of the “cleansing” of their border and he was also the one to pay very small amount of money to all the victims after the almost one-week bloodbath. Second, the narration of the Parsley Massacre was exactly how the event happened in 1937. The trucks containing the Haitians were real. The “killing spree”, where the peasants are to line by six and jump off a...
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