Monday, March 19, 2012

"New York Day Women" Analysis

New York Day Women is singular among the stories found in “Krik? Krak!” insofar as it is distinguished by its setting. Moving her story to New York while retaining the themes of motherhood and Haitian heritage allows her to dwell on the impact of cultural assimilation. Suzette follows her mother around New York and her description of her begins indignant of her traditions and ends with a tinge of admiration. We understand Suzette may not care much for her heritage but her bond with her mother binds her emotionally to Haitian culture nonetheless.
                Seeing Suzette’s mother interact with the city is revelatory in the way it shows us how one is capable of maintaining a clear identity despite the influence of a more modern culture. She obviously doesn’t bother hiding her heritage as she and her friends look like a “Third World Parent-Teacher Meeting Association.” This helps provide a contrast between New York City and her mother’s native Haiti. As a microcosm it really provides a contrast between the U.S. as a whole and Third-World Countries. Suzette’s mother exclaims, “Why should we give to Goodwill when there are so many people back home who need clothes? We save our clothes for the relatives in Haiti.” This brings into context how she may interpret the word “relatives.” Because we later learn she has lost six sisters, making relatives a wider encompassing term than simply blood relation.
                Danticat’s serves its purpose by stating the prevalence of culture and how, even when disregarded can shape us as individuals. It also provides a critique of the problems that are prevalent here in the U.S, compared to the struggles of Third-World Countries. In short she brings the existence of Haiti, its problems and blessings to the forefront.  

Danticat, Edwidge. Krik? Krak! NY: Vintage Books. Print.


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