Children of the Sea Critical Essay

Topics: François Duvalier, Haiti, Tonton Macoute Pages: 4 (1736 words) Published: April 29, 2007
Rena Korb has a master's degree in English literature and creative writing and has written for a wide variety of educational publishers. In the following essay, she discusses the imagery in "Children of the Sea." At the age of twenty-six, young for a writer, Edwidge Danticat has many honors credited to her name. Aside from publishing two books, the novel Breath, Eyes, Memory and a collection of short stories, Krik? Krak!, she has also received much critical acknowledgment. Her novel earned her recognition by the New York Times as one of the "thirty young artists to watch," and it was nominated for a National Book Award in 1995. KriW Krak! drew as many rave reviews; Publishers Weekly writes that it "confirm[s] Danticat's reputation as a remarkably gifted writer." Danticat, who emigrated from Haiti to the United States when she was twelve years old, writes about life in her country and its people. The Haiti that emerges from Danticat's fiction is the one in which she grew up, a country under the rule of dictators Francois "Papa Doc" Duvalier and his son Jean-Claude, known as "Baby Doc." The Duvaliers governed Haiti by dint of oppression and cruelty. Their brutal secret police—the Tonton Macoutes—committed many atrocities against the Haitian people. The Duvalier regime was not overthrown until 1986, but the political situation suffered upheaval until well into the 1990s. Haitian writers from the mid-1940s on have often found themselves, like Danticat, far from home. Given the restrictive and violent dictatorship that has controlled Haiti and its people, many Haitian writers have not been allowed to express themselves freely in their own country. Danticat, even though she lives in the United States, has stated that she doubted not only her ability to write, but she also had the feeling that it might be a dangerous profession. A strong part of the culture, however, is its tradition of storytelling. The title of Danticat'scollection bears witness to her rich heritage...
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