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Discuss the symbols in Edwidge Danticat's novel: Breath, Eyes, Memory....

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asantestan | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted June 13, 2010 at 12:33 AM via web

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Discuss the symbols in Edwidge Danticat's novel: Breath, Eyes, Memory.

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Symbols include: Literacy, Daffodils, The marassas, The color red, Blood and the Erzulie.

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cetaylorplfd | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted July 1, 2010 at 8:32 AM (Answer #1)

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One of the major symbols in Edwidge Danticat's Breath, Eyes, Memory is the daffodil.  Daffodils are not native to Haiti and thus are a flower that is out of place among the rest.  Martine's favorite flower is the daffodil because of its resilience and ability to morph itself to withstand the Haitian climate.  Both Sophie and Martine struggle to develop their own resilience primarily to their sexuality.  Martine grew up with a lifetime of her mother checking to make sure her hymen remained intact, and although she suffers deep emotional scars from this practice, she inflicts it upon Sophie when she becomes of age.  Both Sophie and Martine must reconcile this long-held Haitian practice with the norms of American culture that they encounter once they move, and like the daffodil, they must be resilient and adapt to their new climate.

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