18 July 2014
Breath, Eyes, Memory
Major themes and conflicts present themselves fully in the last chapter of Danticats novel Breath, Eyes, Memory. Sophie Caco was the product of rape and has struggled to grow into the role of daughter, wife, and mother as well as coming to terms with the role she plays in her family and making peace with her mother's ghosts. The passage beginning on page 233 is an excellent example of all these themes coming to a climax.
For Sophie, this third visit to Haiti since her childhood is the most significant of them all, shadowing the loss of her mother and a promise of final liberation into womanhood. Martines attempt to relieve herself of the lifelong burden she carried coincide with her attempt to attack the body that has been the source of her pain ever since the rape that resulted in the birth of Sophie. Her death was a trifecta of liberation for her pain. Therefore resulting in her own sucide, abortion, and murder suggesting that Martines repeated stabs are an attack not only on herself, but unborn child and rapist. Martines rage and wild stabbing are echoed and doubled in Sophie as she beats the cane stalks with her shoe on page 233 in the lines, "I ran through the field, attacking the cane. I took off my shoes and began to beat a cane stalk. I pounded it until it began to lean over.". Furthermore, it could be suggested that Martines stabs are an echo of her own rape and Sophie's decisive choice to penetrate herself with a pestle at the end of section two. Both women are mirrored in each other's act to assume the role of their violator in an attempt to break free of the bodies they feel are prisons. Sophie beating the stalks in the cane field exemplifies this premise and solidifies the notion that in a world that controls women and manipulates them physically, the battle for liberation must be a physical one as well.
In Grandma Ife's cry of 'Ou Libere' we see the...