Passport to Paradise

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Eloise: the Prosperous Woman
In several Caribbean nations, European countries attempted to colonize and exploit the indigenous people. Through her various works, Myriam Warner-Vieyra is gaining increased recognition for her sensitive portrayals of Caribbean women who are placed in roles which doom them for failure. Myriam Warner-Vieyra’s short story “Passport to Paradise” is a quintessential example of her writing. The story is in a collection of nine short stories titled, Femmes échouées, which translates to failed women. However, Eloise, the main character of the story, is far from a failed woman. Although she is put in a situation with a preordained fate of failure, she changes her destiny and succeeds in her goals and triumphs over the white patriarchy.

Myriam Warner-Vieyra was born in Guadeloupe. She spent most of her childhood with her grandmother, who told her many stories of her past and inspired her to write. Later in her life, she went to France to study secondary education. Soon after, she married a film-maker Paulin Vieyra and she has lived in Senegal for thirty years. She published the collection of short stories in 1988, during a time in which Guadeloupe saw the rise and fall of a movement for greater independence from France. Although most of the riots were violent, Warner-Vieyra depicts the peaceful overthrow of the church in a small town in Guadeloupe, led by a resilient woman Eloise fighting for her husband to have a passport to paradise.

Eloise does not allow herself to be controlled by the white patriarchy. She is a “strong countrywoman, tireless and carefree as a carnival night” (Warner-Vieyra 243). To her, happiness doesn’t mean a large paycheck, big house, or any type of luxuries. She just needs to have the “strength and courage to work” (244), alongside her loving husband and children to make her life complete. Although her husband Eugenio is not the perfect man, she never questions his love for her. Nevertheless, each man has...
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