After reading the book, Krik? Krak! I felt Danticat did an excellent job of exploring issues such as cultural identity, suffering, and corrupt political institutions in the short stories. She even showed how the characters overcame and coped with these issues through family and hope.
In “Caroline’s Wedding”, Danticat explores the issue of cultural identity. In the story, Ma, who is Haitian, is not too happy about Caroline marrying Eric, who is Bahamian. We can see that Grace is the one that holds her family together and is who her mother and sister confide in. She understands both the Haitian values of her mother and Caroline’s American independence, but struggles with her own identity. She thinks about how her father had to marry a widow just to bring his actual family to America. Grace feels she is neither Haitian nor American. She is oppressed by her inherited culture because of the thought that she’s to blame for her parents having to leave. Grace feels betrayed by Caroline leaving and starting a new life and Ma fears that Caroline believes no one loves her but Eric. They know that after the marriage, Caroline won’t be as close to them. Grace harbors jealousy and anger towards her sister because she is afraid of loss and change. After visiting her father’s grave and filling him in on all the new events in their lives, Grace gains some assurance. We eventually see that her new passport has given her a sense of American pride and belonging, which makes it easier for her to embrace her Haitian roots. Throughout this story, Ma makes bone soup which we can assume is a Haitian tradition. This soup is symbolic because once Grace is comfortable with her identity, she makes the soup with her mother which shows that she is now able to take pride in her background without guilt. This story shows that without embracing where you come from and where you are, you won’t know your place in the world.
In “The Missing Peace,” Lamort is immune to the violent, corrupt...
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