Haitian Mothers Research Paper

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The bond between a mother and her child is one of the strongest bonds that human beings can experience. The bond is created before the child is even born. The mother protects and cares for her child for nine months while it is in her womb. Everything the mother goes through impacts the unborn child, helping to shape the child before it is even born. After the child is born, the mother continues to care for and protect the child for many years to follow. Some mothers are fortunate enough to not have to face as many obstacles as other mothers. Haitian mothers often were not as lucky. During a period of great political chaos, Haiti experienced turmoil as a result of constant change in political power. Haitians were being mistreated and many killed…show more content…
However, this angered the Dominicans and their president. According to Daynali Flores-Rodriguez, “In October 1937 the Dominican Republic’s dictator, Rafael Leonidas Trujillo, ordered the killings of all Haitians within Dominican borders after accusing them of thievery” (29). Haitians who were attempting to seek refuge were now being persecuted. The Dominicans would differentiate between Haitians and Dominicans by how they pronounced a single word. In what became known as the “Parsley Massacre,” the Dominicans would ask the people they found the name of parsley and if the people pronounced it the way Haitians pronounced it rather than how it was pronounced in Spanish, they would be killed (Flores-Rodriguez, 29). As a result, many of the surviving Haitians fled back to…show more content…
In the novel, the reader witnesses the interactions between a daughter and her imprisoned mother. The mother was imprisoned after being accused of murdering a baby for vodou (Danticat, 39). Every time Josephine, the daughter, goes to visit her mother in prison she struggles with finding the confidence to talk to her mother, especially since she knows that her mother will soon be executed. Instead, she brings a Madonna statue that serves to comfort the mother. The Madonna statue is a representation of the Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ. Mary is seen as the mother and protector of all humans; thus, she is a good model for mothers to worship in order to give them strength and warmth. In the painting the mother seems to have a confident, brave face. This alludes to the mothers and women in the special group that Josephine and Manman belong to. These women must put on brave faces and show strength in the face of danger. They have seen their own mothers and relatives dies when fleeing from the Dominican Republic and many have been accused of practicing vodou. They are thrown into Haitian prison and tortured and humiliated in order to break them of their fiery natures. Even Manman puts on a brave face whenever Josephine would visit her in prison as a way so the guards would not beat her more for showing emotions and revealing the horrors of the prison. There is one scene

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