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The Characters

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Although strength of character is a central focus in Danticat’s stories, because the stories are often told in the oral style of folktale, the stories rather than individualized characters are central. The women in the stories are not realistically differentiated but rather represent basic types. These include the young Haitian woman struggling between the narrow choices of being a “night woman,” that is, a prostitute, or a “day woman,” that is, a servant. Another prominent type is the Haitian mother who has already suffered persecution and tries to protect her daughters. Only in the novelistic final story are characters developed realistically.

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Critical Essays