Cruel World
During the twentieth century, many Haitians lived a life full of poverty and terror;
do to the many wars and epidemics that were established in the country. Throughout her
novel Krik? Krak!, Edwidge Danticat depicts the violence, brutality and cruelty her
people suffered during that time. In her first two stories, we get a glimpse of the horror in
which the Haitian culture had to endure. Whether it was a group of protesting students
getting gunned down, a young women being gang raped, or an innocent women being
sentenced to life in prison because she was believed to be a witch, the terror and horror
seemed endless. How could a human being treat another in such a manner? How could a
Haitian treat another Haitian with so much cruelty and have that kind of malice for his
own people? Danticat shows us the pain of her people through her words and
demonstrates their healing power through her various short stories.


In her first short story, “Children of the Sea” we are introduced to two young
adults who are in love with one another but who are separated because of the terror which
existed in their Haitian society. Because they feared for their lives, they had to part in
hopes that they would stay alive to see each other once again. The society in which they
lived was became incredibly violent due to the Haitian army trying to rid the country of
anyone who was against the government or who they thought was a traitor. The army or
macoutes, as they were referred to, were cruel and ruthless. One of the young narrators
in the story wrote in her journal “a group of students got shot in front of fort dimanche
prison today. our neighbor madan roger came home with her son’s head. the
macoutes by the house were laughing at her. they asked her if it was her dinner” (p.7).
The mascoutes mocked and laughed at helpless women carrying around the head of her
dead son, who they had previously shot. They shot him because he didn’t agree with the
government and its policies.
But the mascoutes did not stop at just taunting Madan Roger, they also severely
beat her. “the soldiers came looking for her son. madan roger was screaming, you killed
him already . he hated you like I hate you criminals. you killed him. they start to
pound at her. you can hear the guns coming down on her head. it sounds like they are
cracking all the bones in her body” (p.16). The terror of the mascoutes did not just stop
with killing, they also began to use cruel and unusual punishment on the Haitian people.


These heartless soldiers forcibly started making Haitian families commit incest. They
would hold a gun to the head of man and make him sleep with his daughter or hold a gun
to the head of young man and make him sleep with his mother. . “they have this thing
the do. if they come into a house and there is a son and mother there, they hold a gun to
their heads. they make the son sleep with his mother. if it is a daughter and father, they
do the same thing” (p.12). If they resisted they would shoot them. “The soldiers held a
gun to Lionel’s head and ordered him to become intimate with his mother. Lionel
refused. Their mother told him to go ahead and obey the soldiers because she was afraid
they would kill Lionel on the spot. Lionel did as his mother told him, crying as the
soldiers laughed at him, pressing the barrels farther into his neck” (p.23). The rain of
terror from the mascoutes did not stop with forcibly incest. They would also tie families
up with rope and make them watch as one of the females was gang raped by the group of
soldiers. ” the soldiers tied up Lionel and their mother, then they each took turns raping
Celianne” (p.23). The girl was only fifteen years old when the callous group of men
raped her. Nonetheless, she became pregnant with one of their children and later killed
herself.

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In her second short story, “Nineteen Thirty-Seven”, Danticat depicts the horror
imprisonment had on an innocent women. She was accused by a women she tried to help
of being a witch and was beaten by an angry mob. “There was the sound of a crowd
outside. When I rushed out I saw a group of people taking my mother away. Her face
was bleeding from the pounding blows of rocks and sticks and the fists of strangers.
her face was swollen to three times the size that it had been” (p.39). Prison life had made
this women look incredibly old and become very thin from malnutrition. Her face was
gray, her teeth were dark red with blood and her skin looked as if it were going to fall off
because it was so loose. Because she looked this way, her prison term was extended to
life. It was extended because the guards “thought that the wrinkles resulted from her
taking off her skin at night and then putting it back on in a hurry, before sunrise” (p.36).


Every week the guards would shave her head and when she went to sleep, they would
make other inmates throw cold water on her so “their bodies would not be able to muster
up enough heat to grow wings” (p.37). The guards wanted to make her and the rest of the
inmates accused of being witches, look like crows. As a result of the malnutrition she
was receiving, she was “beaten down like a dog” and killed because the guards
believed her to be a true witch (p.47). “They said prison could not cure her” (p.47)
Life in Haiti during this time was not easy. People where killed because of their
opinions and beaten because of someone else’s. Cruelty and brutality ruled the Haitian
society. Danticat shows us how unfair life can be and how cowardly and heartless some
people are. It is hard to believe human beings can treat each other the way they do.


Cruel World
During the twentieth century, many Haitians lived a life full of poverty and terror;
do to the many wars and epidemics that were established in the country. Throughout her
novel Krik? Krak!, Edwidge Danticat depicts the violence, brutality and cruelty her
people suffered during that time. In her first two stories, we get a glimpse of the horror in
which the Haitian culture had to endure. Whether it was a group of protesting students
getting gunned down, a young women being gang raped, or an innocent women being
sentenced to life in prison because she was believed to be a witch, the terror and horror
seemed endless. How could a human being treat another in such a manner? How could a
Haitian treat another Haitian with so much cruelty and have that kind of malice for his
own people? Danticat shows us the pain of her people through her words and
demonstrates their healing power through her various short stories.


In her first short story, “Children of the Sea” we are introduced to two young
adults who are in love with one another but who are separated because of the terror which
existed in their Haitian society. Because they feared for their lives, they had to part in
hopes that they would stay alive to see each other once again. The society in which they
lived was became incredibly violent due to the Haitian army trying to rid the country of
anyone who was against the government or who they thought was a traitor. The army or
macoutes, as they were referred to, were cruel and ruthless. One of the young narrators
in the story wrote in her journal “a group of students got shot in front of fort dimanche
prison today. our neighbor madan roger came home with her son’s head. the
macoutes by the house were laughing at her. they asked her if it was her dinner” (p.7).
The mascoutes mocked and laughed at helpless women carrying around the head of her
dead son, who they had previously shot. They shot him because he didn’t agree with the
government and its policies.
But the mascoutes did not stop at just taunting Madan Roger, they also severely
beat her. “the soldiers came looking for her son. madan roger was screaming, you killed
him already . he hated you like I hate you criminals. you killed him. they start to
pound at her. you can hear the guns coming down on her head. it sounds like they are
cracking all the bones in her body” (p.16). The terror of the mascoutes did not just stop
with killing, they also began to use cruel and unusual punishment on the Haitian people.


These heartless soldiers forcibly started making Haitian families commit incest. They
would hold a gun to the head of man and make him sleep with his daughter or hold a gun
to the head of young man and make him sleep with his mother. . “they have this thing
the do. if they come into a house and there is a son and mother there, they hold a gun to
their heads. they make the son sleep with his mother. if it is a daughter and father, they
do the same thing” (p.12). If they resisted they would shoot them. “The soldiers held a
gun to Lionel’s head and ordered him to become intimate with his mother. Lionel
refused. Their mother told him to go ahead and obey the soldiers because she was afraid
they would kill Lionel on the spot. Lionel did as his mother told him, crying as the
soldiers laughed at him, pressing the barrels farther into his neck” (p.23). The rain of
terror from the mascoutes did not stop with forcibly incest. They would also tie families
up with rope and make them watch as one of the females was gang raped by the group of
soldiers. ” the soldiers tied up Lionel and their mother, then they each took turns raping
Celianne” (p.23). The girl was only fifteen years old when the callous group of men
raped her. Nonetheless, she became pregnant with one of their children and later killed
herself.


In her second short story, “Nineteen Thirty-Seven”, Danticat depicts the horror
imprisonment had on an innocent women. She was accused by a women she tried to help
of being a witch and was beaten by an angry mob. “There was the sound of a crowd
outside. When I rushed out I saw a group of people taking my mother away. Her face
was bleeding from the pounding blows of rocks and sticks and the fists of strangers.
her face was swollen to three times the size that it had been” (p.39). Prison life had made
this women look incredibly old and become very thin from malnutrition. Her face was
gray, her teeth were dark red with blood and her skin looked as if it were going to fall off
because it was so loose. Because she looked this way, her prison term was extended to
life. It was extended because the guards “thought that the wrinkles resulted from her
taking off her skin at night and then putting it back on in a hurry, before sunrise” (p.36).


Every week the guards would shave her head and when she went to sleep, they would
make other inmates throw cold water on her so “their bodies would not be able to muster
up enough heat to grow wings” (p.37). The guards wanted to make her and the rest of the
inmates accused of being witches, look like crows. As a result of the malnutrition she
was receiving, she was “beaten down like a dog” and killed because the guards
believed her to be a true witch (p.47). “They said prison could not cure her” (p.47)
Life in Haiti during this time was not easy. People where killed because of their
opinions and beaten because of someone else’s. Cruelty and brutality ruled the Haitian
society. Danticat shows us how unfair life can be and how cowardly and heartless some
people are. It is hard to believe human beings can treat each other the way they do.


Cruel World
During the twentieth century, many Haitians lived a life full of poverty and terror;
do to the many wars and epidemics that were established in the country. Throughout her
novel Krik? Krak!, Edwidge Danticat depicts the violence, brutality and cruelty her
people suffered during that time. In her first two stories, we get a glimpse of the horror in
which the Haitian culture had to endure. Whether it was a group of protesting students
getting gunned down, a young women being gang raped, or an innocent women being
sentenced to life in prison because she was believed to be a witch, the terror and horror
seemed endless. How could a human being treat another in such a manner? How could a
Haitian treat another Haitian with so much cruelty and have that kind of malice for his
own people? Danticat shows us the pain of her people through her words and
demonstrates their healing power through her various short stories.


In her first short story, “Children of the Sea” we are introduced to two young
adults who are in love with one another but who are separated because of the terror which
existed in their Haitian society. Because they feared for their lives, they had to part in
hopes that they would stay alive to see each other once again. The society in which they
lived was became incredibly violent due to the Haitian army trying to rid the country of
anyone who was against the government or who they thought was a traitor. The army or
macoutes, as they were referred to, were cruel and ruthless. One of the young narrators
in the story wrote in her journal “a group of students got shot in front of fort dimanche
prison today. our neighbor madan roger came home with her son’s head. the
macoutes by the house were laughing at her. they asked her if it was her dinner” (p.7).
The mascoutes mocked and laughed at helpless women carrying around the head of her
dead son, who they had previously shot. They shot him because he didn’t agree with the
government and its policies.
But the mascoutes did not stop at just taunting Madan Roger, they also severely
beat her. “the soldiers came looking for her son. madan roger was screaming, you killed
him already . he hated you like I hate you criminals. you killed him. they start to
pound at her. you can hear the guns coming down on her head. it sounds like they are
cracking all the bones in her body” (p.16). The terror of the mascoutes did not just stop
with killing, they also began to use cruel and unusual punishment on the Haitian people.


These heartless soldiers forcibly started making Haitian families commit incest. They
would hold a gun to the head of man and make him sleep with his daughter or hold a gun
to the head of young man and make him sleep with his mother. . “they have this thing
the do. if they come into a house and there is a son and mother there, they hold a gun to
their heads. they make the son sleep with his mother. if it is a daughter and father, they
do the same thing” (p.12). If they resisted they would shoot them. “The soldiers held a
gun to Lionel’s head and ordered him to become intimate with his mother. Lionel
refused. Their mother told him to go ahead and obey the soldiers because she was afraid
they would kill Lionel on the spot. Lionel did as his mother told him, crying as the
soldiers laughed at him, pressing the barrels farther into his neck” (p.23). The rain of
terror from the mascoutes did not stop with forcibly incest. They would also tie families
up with rope and make them watch as one of the females was gang raped by the group of
soldiers. ” the soldiers tied up Lionel and their mother, then they each took turns raping
Celianne” (p.23). The girl was only fifteen years old when the callous group of men
raped her. Nonetheless, she became pregnant with one of their children and later killed
herself.


In her second short story, “Nineteen Thirty-Seven”, Danticat depicts the horror
imprisonment had on an innocent women. She was accused by a women she tried to help
of being a witch and was beaten by an angry mob. “There was the sound of a crowd
outside. When I rushed out I saw a group of people taking my mother away. Her face
was bleeding from the pounding blows of rocks and sticks and the fists of strangers.
her face was swollen to three times the size that it had been” (p.39). Prison life had made
this women look incredibly old and become very thin from malnutrition. Her face was
gray, her teeth were dark red with blood and her skin looked as if it were going to fall off
because it was so loose. Because she looked this way, her prison term was extended to
life. It was extended because the guards “thought that the wrinkles resulted from her
taking off her skin at night and then putting it back on in a hurry, before sunrise” (p.36).


Every week the guards would shave her head and when she went to sleep, they would
make other inmates throw cold water on her so “their bodies would not be able to muster
up enough heat to grow wings” (p.37). The guards wanted to make her and the rest of the
inmates accused of being witches, look like crows. As a result of the malnutrition she
was receiving, she was “beaten down like a dog” and killed because the guards
believed her to be a true witch (p.47). “They said prison could not cure her” (p.47)
Life in Haiti during this time was not easy. People where killed because of their
opinions and beaten because of someone else’s. Cruelty and brutality ruled the Haitian
society. Danticat shows us how unfair life can be and how cowardly and heartless some
people are. It is hard to believe human beings can treat each other the way they do.

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