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Haitian History Illuminated in the Writing of Edwidge Danticat

  • Date Submitted: 06/16/2014 09:33 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 40.6 
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It is interesting to consider how any individual develops their personality over the course of a lifetime.   We tend to think that people make a series of conscious, day to day decisions, establishing a trend of behavior for themselves that is entirely a result of their own preferences and ideals.   They go about collecting traits they admire in others and project these traits outward as their own.   This preference-based model makes up the conscious half in the development of personality.   Often forgotten is the naturally occurring element, the unconscious aspect.   The aspect that is a direct consequence of our inherent culture from birth.   We adopt first and foremost the culture of our family, followed by the culture of our heritage and country.   We take on the grand memories of our parents and share with them a common history.   Today in the United States, an ambitious young woman born in the 1990’s would likely identify herself with the great American women of the 20th century who redefined gender equality, despite having no direct association to them other than citizenship or gender.   Try as we might, inherent culture is the hardest parts of our personality to shake because of how it is so engrained in us from early on in life.   This part of ourselves is subconsciously reflected in our personality right alongside our decided ideals.
Professional writers are a breed of thinkers that provide the rest of us with a wider window in which to perceive these aspects of their personality.   Every written phrase represents some feeling or opinion they hold.   An author from Japan in the 1940’s and an author from California in the present day are likely to have very different motivations for writing based on their life’s context in history, and that would be reflected in their substance and style of writing.  
Haitian immigrant and writer Edwidge Danticat is no exception to this assumption.   The unique Haitian culture we bear witness to today is a result of many years of...

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