Breath Eyes Memory Trauma

Decent Essays
Imagine being a young girl living in Haiti, enjoying your day and suddenly you are being raped. What if every night your mother tested you, against your will, to see if you were still ‘whole’. In the book Breath, Eyes, Memory by Edwidge Danticat, characters experience a lot of trauma and they react to it in many ways. The main character Sophie and her mother, Martine, both internalize their trauma at the beginning of the book, but throughout the course of the book Sophie learns that it is okay to talk about and share her experiences. However, Martine continues to run away from reminders of the experiences that happened. Martine also struggles being near Sophie because she is a constant reminder of her rape. Edwidge Danticat uses conveys the reactions to trauma through the characters actions after. Martine and Sophie both struggle to deal with their traumatic experiences and suffering, in a healthy way, throughout the book.

The author uses the character's experiences to highlight their reaction to trauma. While Sophie is in New York she constantly has to wake her mother up because she fears the nightmares will kill her. “Whenever my mother was home, I would stay up all
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Throughout the entire book there is no mention of Sophie having friends. The only people Sophie interacts with are her family and the people from the sexual phobia group. She never talks about meeting up with friends because she doesn't want to be asked about her family and her trauma. When Martine and Grandma Ife, her mother, are discussing funerals Martine decides she wants only to be remembered by the ones closest to her. “I don't want a big mass like you. I want to be buried the day after I die. Just like the old days” (168). Martine doesn't want lot of people at her funeral. She only wants family there in contrast to her mother. Both of them only really have their family and significant others as their
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