August 27, 2007

Poverty in Haiti

Filed under: Krik? Krak! — csmith @ 3:24 pm

Map of Haiti

How can you tell from the stories you have just read that Haiti is a poor country?  (This image was found on Flickr.com at the following link:  http://flickr.com/photos/remeika/454999828/).

10 Responses to “Poverty in Haiti”

  1. skaur Says:

    The impact of the past is largely emphasized in the writings of Danticat. A history of massacres, tortures and rape, mass grave sites all are signs of a nation in grieving, a grieving that cannot be healed without the peoples involved in these ethnic conflicts facilitating their thoughts and ridding of their prejudices. Haiti is not a landlocked nation, it has the ocean surrounding it on 3 of its four borders, one would assume that this would be an opportunity to open up trade, but a history of colonization is always something that makes countries want to be unlike their former oppressor, to be self-sufficient, as many countries became after their independence, and it takes a long time for a people for a nation to come out and begin to trust the world again, for example it took India over 50 years to do so. And in such cases there are parallel markets or blackmarkets and that takes away again from equal distribution of the wealth of goods that a nation has to offer, therefore the food shortages and also the tendency of the people to be supersitious. The lack of enforcing the rule of law and basic human rights, and the lack of healthcare and the prevalence of youngsters with small arms and light weapons-a lack of weapons control. These are all the things that make me believe that Haiti is a poor country.

  2. chancock89 Says:

    Not only by reading the short stories by Danticat, but also growing up in St. Thomas, it is evident that Haiti is a poor country. Many people flee the island to try and go on to a better life. In St. Thomas, Haitians stand on street corners illegally waiting for the chance of work. Someone in need of extra help in construction will pick up a Haitian to work for manual labor. They are trying to save up enough money to bring over their family to safer places. The small opportunity that they get and the minimum wages given shows clear reason that Haiti has even less opportunity of work and money. In the one story, “A Wall of Fire”, Guy wanted to fly away, maybe because he wanted an opportunity to make a better living. He was still unable to work at such an old age and was pushing for his son to be put on the working list. Being somewhere else would give Guy more hope of making it in life.

  3. alyssa Says:

    Each of the stories we read in “Krik? Krak!” dealt with poor families. Danticat uses political and social turmoil as a back drop for most of her tales, if not all of them. The fact that the theme of war is visible in these stories leads me to believe that Haiti is a very poor country, simply because any small, weak nation going through such a hard time MUST be poor. The characters within the stories eat cornmeal mush and fried plantains, the cheapest of foods. They families are striving for something better, AND even though the Haitians in these stories are poor and living in a war torn country, they are still shown as having wisdom and some intense spirit; it is moving and very beautiful and made the stories a pleasure to read.

  4. mindym Says:

    The clues pointing to Haiti’s poverty are buried in the details of Edwidge Danticat’s stories. “A Wall of Fire Rising” opens with a domestic scene that speaks to life in a developing country. The family lives in a “tiny shack” (53). Supper is served on banana leaves and in gourd halves, resting on a rude table of plywood set across two bricks (54). Similarly, in “Epilogue: Women Like Us,” the narrator speaks of having “a notebook made out of discarded fish wrappers, panty-hose cardboard,” suggesting she is too poor to buy a more adequate notebook (220).

  5. seanatchison Says:

    “Children of the Sea” gave it away for me. The fact that all these people from Haiti would willingly risk their lives for any or little chance of life in the states. To quote, “Beloved Haiti, there is no place like you. I had to leave you before I could understand you.” (9)

  6. lsulliv2 Says:

    Well, one can pretty much tell that Haiti is poor because the people have nothing to eat, no jobs, and they are all trying to escape. Is that too simple?

  7. jleonard Says:

    Throughout Edwidge Danticat’s “Krik? Krak!” it is evident that Haiti is a poverty stricken nation. In the story “A Wall of Fire Rising” a man is trying to flee Haiti to get to a place where he can be free until he realizes that could not happen. In “Children of the Sea” an account of a mans quest to leave Haiti is denied when he has no proof that he is in harm, this shows that people would like to leave, to be free, but can not. In “Caroline’s Wedding” two girls grow up in American but are still Haitian. They have to cope with their mother, who tries to keep the Haitian spirit alive in her family while still living in the luxury of America. A common theme in the stories is that the Haitians are trying to escape the poverty of Haiti for freedom in a better land.

  8. kelsey Says:

    It is obvious to me that Haiti is a poor country because of the determination of the people to escape it. They are willing to travel in dangerous circumstances for the hope of a better life. There is no promise of a better life yet they still feel it is worth the risk to attempt to flee. Only people in a desperate situation would take that big of a risk. It is also evident in the lifestyle that is described. The Haitans seems to expect nothing better then the poor life they live. In Nineteen Thirty Seven the way the prisoners are treated is abominable by our standards but the Haitans accept it as decent treatment by their own.

  9. elivermo Says:

    The descriptions in the stories. In “A Wall of Fire Rising” their home is a “shack”. Lili “manages to buy spices on credit” showing they don’t have money to buy food. The stories all talk of a struggle. Poverty is the one thing every story has in common.

  10. julianna Says:

    I can’t help but feel that with every story it opened my eyes to more and more. The more that I read, the more I noticed the small clues to poverty, whether it be through actions, dialogue, or thoughts. Through all the stories, it seemed to be a common factor that someone wanted so much to just escape. When someone wants to leave their home to the extent that they risk their life, or they just want to forget, it is usually because something is wrong. For example, in “A Wall of Fire Rising”, the father could not deal with his monetary limits. It upset him to the extent that he just had to escape. So he escaped the only way he knew how.