Power Struggles in "Cloud Cover Caribbean"

Topics: Cuba, Short story, Puerto Rico Pages: 2 (450 words) Published: December 6, 2010
Intangible But Impossible to Go Beyond

“Cloud Cover Caribbean” tells us the story: a Haitian, Antenor, fled his country on a small boat. During this unpredictably dangerous sea adventure, he rescued a Dominican, Diogenes, and a Cuban, Carmelo, who both shared the same dream with Antenor of going to Miami to start a new life. Some conflicts, subtle or obvious, took place while these three men of different countries and cultural backgrounds were struggling together in one little skiff. The moment before they were almost about to sink in the notorious Bermuda Triangle, an American boat happened to pass by, so thank goodness, the three men survived. In no time the captain of the American boat sent them directly to a Puerto Rican to start working.

After reading the short story, I was intrigued by the following two points: A. Balanced vs Unbalanced: How the relationship and behaviors of the three maincharacters change over time; I noticed that there were several times when the behaviors of the characters marked the changes of their relationships on the boat. Balanced: At first the Haitian was alone but happy. Then came the other passenger, the Dominican. A common desire for a better life bonded them together, even if they could not understand each otherʼs language. They would probably go beyond their languages, cultures and pasts, the balance of this boat would be just equal, had the Cuban not arrived.

Unbalanced: The Cuban brought changes and made the boat lean to the Spanish- speaking side. The first scene of unease appeared while the Cuban and the Dominican were talking about work, the Haitian as their victim. Soon after a real conflict over food burst. The Cuban and the Dominican formed an alliance against the “nigger”, the Haitian. After the triumph and a short conversation, interestingly, a little conflict inside the alliance occurred, but the Dominican chose to contain himself and target the Haitian, which made the Cuban felt amused.

B. How...
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