Modeling patriarchal environment which is fueled by political
Modeling of a woman’s voice in a time of great political struggle Feminist theory is a praxis pursuit of equal and nonbiased opportunities for women in a patriarchal environment which is fueled by political and personal marginalization.
In the book Krik? Krak! written by Edwidge Danticat the feminist theme that stood out the most was the development of a woman’s voice. In a short story called “Children of the sea,” this theme develops and becomes fueled by hostile historical and political environments.In the opening of the short story the first voice that we encounter is of a male refugee; who was a member of a political resistance group known as the youth federation members. He fled the country on a damaged boat that accommodates thirty-six other deserting souls (Danticat 3), in hopes of escaping death by government persecution. The circumstances of this scene paint a picture of social and political unrest in Haiti; which alone demonstrates how people are willing to risk their lives and die at sea rather than succumb to government torment.The severity of government corruption also fuels the development of a powerful voices in some women.
An example of horrific government actions executed by soldiers include the shooting of student protestors in front of a prison (7) and government officials extracting information from their victim by any means necessary. These are just a few examples used to demonstrate the extent of government corruption.All of these these accounts are reported in the main character’s journal with explicit details with incorporation of emotions and reactions. These characteristics alone designates a powerful rebellious voice that women did not normally have in that country. Her ability to record these historical events as they unroll from a multitude of viewpoints in turn eliminate the predominant patriarchal perspective and implements a feminine lens on the issues at hand.
Mrs.Rogers is perhaps the most predominant example of strong female voice in the short story. Her first example of power is evident after an insult to her dead son. As a result the woman becomes infuriated to an extent that it took ten people to hold her back (7) from attacking the men despite knowing that she could have been killed (8). This is the first time we see any female characters willingly take a stand in a male-controlled environment.
The last example of Mrs. Rogers’s developing feminine voice was when some government fficials came into her house with the intension of finding her son. Significance of this scene is derived from the moment Mrs. Rogers finally voices her opinion and calls the government officials criminals (16). Mrs. Rogers breaks the chains of repression, however, she pays for this with her life. This also reflects the notion of “live free or die” (71), as demonstrated in a speech given by a young character named Little Guy from the second story called “A Wall of Fire Rising”.
This speech was originally borrowed from a man named Dutty Boukman1, a Haitian priest who was responsible for the formation of a freedom covenant, which also was a catalyst to the slave uprising and as a result marked the beginning of the Haitian revolution. As mentioned in Boukman’s speech and reiterated by Little Guy “we may either live free or we should die” (71) these words were the dictum by which Mrs. Rogers along with her son both lived and died by.
Works Cited: Danticat, Edwidge. Krik? Krak!. 1st Vintage contemporaries ed. New York: Vintage Books, 1996.