Thursday, January 6, 2011

Children of Seattle

     The downfall of civilizations is always of vital importance when analyzing history. The multiple despotic regimes of Haiti and the numerous invasive Americans of European descent contribute to the dissolving of innocence and to the presence of death in the regions they inhabit. In Edwidge Danticat's narrative (Children of the Sea) of two ill-fated lovers in Haitian apartheid, the submission of the peaceful but frightened citizens resembles the outlook of the author of other short story soon discussed: This Sacred Soil by Chief Seattle. A prominent theme in Children of the Sea is sacrifice; the female counterpart's father saves her life while risking his own and the male counterpart witnesses a mother's grief and sadness overcome her when she must submit her stillborn child to the waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The mother jumps in with the baby and is lost to the sea like many other Haitians who attempted to reach the United States via boats. This detail can be then specifically related to the other story.
     This Sacred Soil by Chief Seattle describes his people's downfall and ultimate acceptance of "White Man" occupation. However, he acknowledges how the Native Americans are more connected with nature and the earth, respecting each living being and each other. Chief Seattle notably comments on how his people will remain on earth, "haunting" the land they lived on, in a sense. Now, like the Haitians, a people neglected by Western society succumb to the ever-present pressure from them and fade into time. Their soil becomes hallowed with their souls and past memories just as the Gulf of Mexico was by the multitude of African descendants how lost their lives to escape to a better place.

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