The Antelope's Strategy

by Jean Hatzfeld
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Summarize chapter 1 of The Antelope's Strategy.

In chapter 1 of The Antelope's Strategy, readers are introduced to the horrors of Rwandan genocide through the story of Claudine, a survivor. Hatzfeld describes her visit with Claudine and recounts her experiences during and after the genocide.

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The Antelope’s Strategy by Jean Hatzfeld is a book about Rwanda after the genocide in 1994. The genocide was the mass slaughter of the Tutsi, Twa, and moderate Hutu population by the Hutu ethnic majority.

The title of the book’s first chapter, “More Questions?,” is a quote from Tutsi survivor Claudine Kayitesi. The chapter focuses on Claudine’s story, and through it begins to highlight the horrors of the genocide. In the chapter, Hatzfeld describes how she visited Claudine in her new house. Claudine sat down and asked “More questions?” in “feigned astonishment.” This question highlights the emotional exhaustion survivors have been enduring since the conflict.

The chapter goes on to describe Claudine’s life during and after the genocide. Hatzfeld emphasizes Claudine’s strength and how, despite her painful past, she never complains. However, Claudine’s discussion of how she changed introduces the reader to the genocide’s enduring emotional effects. She says that “you will never hear answers from the real Claudine ... because I’m no longer truly happy in my own skin .... Life betrayed me” (6).

The striking, dark reality of Claudine’s experience underlines how brutal the genocide was. It also allows Hatzfeld to grasp the reader’s attention and highlight the importance of the book. In just this brief interview with Claudine, the reader is already horrified at the magnitude of what she endured. The chapter introduces the reader to the unfathomable way that the genocide dehumanized innocent people and the irreversible emotional trauma it caused.

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