The Farming of Bones: the Symbolic Portrayal of Water's Relation to Death vs. Life

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“Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live.” (Norman Cousins) Death comes to us all, for some it marks the end of a life, for others it reveals the road to a new path in which the soul travels. However it leaves behind a trail of darkness regardless for those who have experienced the loss. Through enduring the death and tragedies of those around us, we are tested by our emotions. The character Amabelle experiences the trauma of death and tragedy many times through water in her journey and Danticat shows us how it affects her in the novel. In a time where there was much death and tragedy, Danticat’s depictions gives us insight into just how horrific the events were that took place during…show more content…
Odette begins to choke under the water after Wilner is shot, which in turn is causing her cover to be blown, and in an attempt to save herself from being discovered, Amabelle shoves her head under the water so that the guards would not hear the noise. This scene marked a great change in Amabelle’s character. Taking a life for the first time, and the irony of it taking place in water, drowning the way her parents had drown support the idea of water being a symbol of death and tragedy in the novel. The event causes Amabelle to distance herself even more from the events that take place, and numbs her to the surroundings. When Sebastian does not return to the waterfalls, Amabelle becomes instilled with a sense of reality that her lover is truly gone and water once again is portrayed as a symbol of death and sorrow. Before the massacre takes place, Sebastian and Amabelle fall in love and help one another heal from the earlier tragedy. They become engaged and make love at the site of the falls. The water again here is present and can be symbolized as an element of two people coming together. However when Amabelle returns to the same falls in hopes of meeting Sebastian, she is sadly disappointed. Her hopes of Sebastian surviving the massacre are still embedded deep within her, but the truth is that he had passed and all that was left for Amabelle was the presence she felt when revisiting the memories they had made at the waterfall. “Water the destroyer, in the form of

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