Krik? Krak!

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Krik? Krak!

Though all of the stories presented in Krik? Krak! can be related to the "African" keyword in some ways, four of the stories that have the most impact on the study of the keyword are the following:

  • Children of the Sea - A story about a revolutionist and his girlfriend. This young Haitian man is wanted by the police and must flee from Haiti. The story takes place as this man is on a ship heading to America while his girlfriend stays behind with her parents. The man describes the endless difficulties of living on a ship which includes temperature, insufficient food, lack of privacy and shows concern about the leaking ship. Meanwhile, the man's girlfriend is struggling for the survival as her family attempts to move away from the city which is occupied by soldiers.
  • Wall of Fire Rising - A story that takes place in Haiti about Guy and his family. Guy works in a plantation where he struggles make money for his family. Guy's son, little Guy is picked to play a role in a revolutionary play. Throughout the story, Guy is depicted as being obsess with a hot air balloon in the plantation. One day Guy decides to steal the hot air balloon and as he is flying off he jumps of the balloon and dies. The story ends after little Guy recites his lines over Guy's corpse.
  • Between the Pool and the Gardenias - A story revolves around Marie, a Haitian maid. The story begins as Marie picks up a dead baby and begins to mend it as though it was her own. As the story process Marie creates an imaginary world for herself and the baby which she calls Rose. After two to three days after Marie picks up the baby, the baby begins to rot. consequently, Marie tries bury to baby but as she is burying the baby a Dominican man stops her. The story ends in a cliff hanger as the Dominican man accuses her of being a baby eater and calls the police.
  • Caroline’s Wedding - Unlike the rest of the other stories in this book, Caroline's Wedding takes place in United States. In this story, an American girl with Haitian heritage named Caroline is marrying a non Haitian man, Eric. At first Caroline's mother, Ma, oppose this marriage and tries to stop them by cooking special soup which suppose to have magical power. As the wedding approaches Ma threatens Caroline by stating that if she decides to marry Eric she will no longer welcome Caroline into her home. However, at the end of the story, after Caroline is married to Eric Ma tells Caroline that there will always be a place for Caroline in her home.

Significant of Krik? Krak! on African Keyword

One important aspect of Krik? Krak! to the African Keyword is its depiction of problems which occurs within Haitian community both in Haiti and in United States. For instance, "Children of the Sea" depicts a Haitian community that is suppressed by Haitian run government, while "Wall of Fire Rising" depicts the state of poverty in Haiti during the period after the revolution. In both cases, Danticat depicts the negative effects that imperialism have on Haiti and her people. Ultimately, Danticat is able to shows the struggles of free African who lives in Africa in the time after European ruler has moved out of Haiti leaving nothing but chaos behind.

Another aspect of Krik? Krak! that is significant to the African keyword, is shown through the story "Between the Pool and the Gardenias." This story shows the cross cultural breakdown in Haiti by depicting a Dominican man and a Haitian maid. In the story, the Dominican is depicted as being "better" than the Haitian maid. This suggests that there exist a hierarchy of "race" within African culture. By doing so, Daticat conveys the message that the word "African" can not be used to describe everyone that with an African Heritage and is is shown through the fact that even though western society may include Dominican and Haitian as being both "African" the two cultures are different and these two people fails to fully understand each others culture and way of life.

About the Author

"My country [...] is one of uncertainty. When I say 'my country' to some Haitians, they think of the United States. When I say 'my country' to some Americans, they think of Haiti." --"The Butterfly's Way" by Edwidge Danticat

Author, Edwidge Danticat, was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti on January 19th, 1969. When she was two years old, her father and mother moved to New York to start a life in America. Therefore, in Haiti, Edwidge and her younger brother were raised by her aunt and uncle. During the time in her hometown, she spent many days writing her first short story and attending school. When she reached twelve years old, she moved to Brooklyn, New York to live with her parents. While living in America, she experienced a sense of “exile” due to her accent and Haitian background. In result, she wrote more stories for support and comfort. Till today she has written nine novels and received a numerous amount of awards.