Krik? Krak!

Topics: Short story, Hot air balloon, Fiction Pages: 2 (771 words) Published: April 24, 2001
Krik? Krak!

Danticat's Krik? Krak!, are a collection of short stories about Haiti and Haitian-Americans before democracy and the horrible conditions that they lived in. Although it is a mistake to call the stories autobiographical, Krik? Krak! embodies some of Danticat's experiences as a child. While the collection of stories draw on the oral tradition in Haitian society, it is also part of the literature of diaspora, the great, involuntary migration of Africans from their homeland to other parts of the world; thus, the work speaks of loss and assimilation and resistance. The stories all seem to share similar themes, that one story could be in some way linked to the others. Each story had to deal with relationships, either with a person or a possession, and in these relationships something is either lost or regained. Another point that was shared throughout the short stories was the focus on the struggles of the women in Haiti. Lastly they all seem to weave together the overarching theme of memory. It's through memory and the retelling of old stories and legends that the Haitians in Danticat's tales achieve immortality, and extension to lives that were too often short and brutal.

The first story "Children of the Sea" is between two people in love: a young man on a rickety boat fleeing Haiti because the Macoutes are taking over the country. The other character is a girl who loves the boy on the boat, and she writes letters to him. Meanwhile he's writing a journal to keep track of happenings on the boat that he plans on giving to her when they meet again. In this story the relationship between Celianne and her newborn child was in my eyes one of the most heartbreaking in the whole book. "Many people have volunteered to throw Celianne's baby overboard for her. She will not let them. They are waiting for her to go to sleep so they can do it, but she will not sleep. I never knew before that dead children looked purple"(Danticat, 25). Later the...
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