Alienation and Dis-alienation
Ever wonder what life would be like if there was never discrimination to start with? There is nothing more isolating than living in a society that casts judgment on groups or individuals based on ill-conceived notions and specific criterion. Both Antoinette in Wide Sargasso Sea and Sophie in Breath, Eyes, Memoryface many circumstances where they are both alienated and each one finds different ways to make themselves heard and resist. Alienation comes in many forms including but not limited to race, gender, and subject versus object. Probably the most infamous forms of alienation is race.It does not matter if you are in your home country or living in a foreign country, the use of alienating people by forms of racial comments or actions occurred quite a bit in both the Caribbean and in the United States. Sophie discovers this the minute she starts to attend school in Brooklyn, NY after leaving Haiti. “Outside the school, we were ‘the frenchies,’ cringing in our mock-Catholic-school uniforms as the students from the public school across the street called us ‘boat people’ and ‘stinking Haitians’” (Danticat 66). Antoinette also discovers early on as a young girl that she and her family were looked down on from the very beginning as seen here when she states, “They say when trouble comes close ranks, and so the white people did. But we were not in their ranks” (Rhys 17). Alienation by means of gender has been going on for a very long time. Although the Haitian tradition of testing only happens in rural areas and most likely not performed very much today, it presents a very uncomfortable topic for women in that society. With Sophie, we see what she has to endure based on the fact that she is female when she tells the readers,“There, she made me lie on my bed and she tested me” (Danticat 84). Sophie’s retaliation to this,which is subsequently providing her dis-alienation, is when she finally decides to take action and gain control of...
Cited: Danticat, Edwidge. Breath, Eyes, Memory. New York: Vintage Books, 1994.
Rhys, Jean. Wide Sargasso Sea. New York: Norton, 1966, 1982.
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