Breath, Eyes, Memory: Women in Society

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Women in Society
The book Breath, Eyes, Memory by Edwidge Danticat, tells the story of a young Haitian girl named Sophie Caco, her mother Martine, and the journey they both have as being women in their Haitian society. Being a woman in their society is especially difficult considering the poverty that they are specifically a custom to. Not only that, but considering Sophie’s mother Martine’s case, the fact that she is raped by the notorious Ton-Ton Macoute makes being a woman there very disliked. Women in the area from where Sophie and Martine were from grew up by a set of moral rules in their lives. One of the biggest examples of this is being a virgin until marriage. The symbolism with that demonstrates that the family is very loyal and responsible in the sense that they can raise a family and carry on a tradition such as this one of purity. Daticant shows many examples of how being a woman in this society works and the difficulties that come with it when it comes to things such as being a pure woman all the way to the reputation of a Haitian family.
Sophie’s Aunt Atie tells her “Your mother and I, when we were children we had no control over anything. Not even this body” (20). In a way, this was Atie’s way of telling Sophie to take control of the chance in life she has unlike her mother and aunt and their life in Haiti. Especially when Sophie’s mother and aunt were young they had even less control over their life choices because of the moral laws they went by for their life as demonstrated by their ancestors. Now in Sophie’s time things have changed a little bit in the sense that she can have a better life elsewhere and not have to confine to the strict rules of that society. For a chance at a better life, Sophie is invited to stay with her mother Martine in New York. Sophie and her mother have not seen each other in quite sometime because Martine escaped Haiti after a bad experience. A notorious group in Haiti called the Ton-Ton Macoute had raped her and…

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