The following essay is going to argue about what

The following essay is going to argue about
what I think it is the Caribbean Literature right now and about aspects of the
Caribbean as well. The same is going to be do by comparing and talking about two
short stories reviewed in class. The two short stories I choose to compare and
talk about them were “1937” by Edwidge
Danticat and “The Glass Bottle Trick” by Nalo Hopkins. There will be research
for both of this stories combined so they support the main argument. As also contextual
research, theories like the colonialism and finally symbols and other things.

Before
we go in depth talking about the Caribbean we have to talk a little about the authors
and the short stories. First we have Edwidge Danticat as the writer of “1937”.
She is an Haitian women who likes to write about the relationship between
mom-daughter and about respect and death. Three teams that are present in “1937”.
In the other short story, “The Glass Bottle Trick”, we have that the writer is
Nalo Hopkinson. She is also a woman who likes to write about the Caribbean
history with science fiction but always sending a message. I just wanted to say
and mentioned this two authors because there are women. And there is a part of
this essay that is going to be dedicated about how women were contempt but this
two never were afraid of that.

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In
both of this short stories, “1937” and “The Glass Bottle Trick”, the authors
argue about how the people in the Caribbean had suffered so much as shown by
the racism, hatred and contempt to women and the oppression at different
levels. So the two short stories talked about these three topics overall that
will be presented in three sub-arguments with textual evidence, contextual research
and more in different ways. This sub-arguments and research will cover
everything for both stories.

The
first sub-argument that supports the main argument is the racism present in
both of the stories. In “1937” we can see that the main setting if a massacre
of Haitians and by that simple fact there is expressed racism against them. And
in “The Glass Bottle Trick” we appreciate this feature by the way Samuel treats
Beatrice because she is black although he is black too. There is expressed how
people in the Caribbean had suffered and is suffering in different levels of racism.

In “1937”
there is a quote for textual evidence that says: “The
roads to the city were covered with sharp pebbles only half buried in the thick
dust. I chose to go barefoot, as my mother had always done on her visits to the
Massacre River, the river separating Haiti from the Spanish-speaking country that
she had never allowed me to name because I had been born on the night that El Generalissimo,
Dios Trujillo, the honorable chief of state, had ordered the massacre of all Haitians
living there.” (Danticat, 447). Here
is expressed clearly how Trujillo massacres Haitians just because he doesn’t want
them in his country showing a full act of racism against these people without a
reason. And more depressed it is that these racism is Caribbean people against Caribbean
people. Then in “The Glass Bottle Trick” we have a quote too for textual
evidence that dictates: “Beatrice sometimes wondered
why Samuel hadn’t married a white woman. He could have met someone while he was
studying abroad. She thought she knew the reason, though. She had seen the way
that Samuel behaved around white people. He smiled too broadly, he simpered, he
made silly jokes. It pained her to see it, and she could tell from the
desperate look in his eyes that it hurt him too” (Hopkinson, 266). Another
quote tells: “He said
he feared that cancer would mar her soft skin, that he didn’t want to lose another
wife. But Beatrice knew he just didn’t want her to get too brown. When the sun
touched her, it brought the sepia and cinnamon in her blood, overpowered the milk
and honey; and he could no longer pretend she was white. He loved her skin pale.” (Hopkinson, 264). In both
of this quotes it is expressed the racism Samuel had against black people,
letting know to Beatrice that he doesn’t want her to take the sun because her
skin gets darker and too how he acted around white people so different because
he wanted to be a white person not a black and there is from the racism came
all about.  

When
we analyze this first sub-argument we see how racism is present in the
Caribbean and in both stories. And this is a reason of what the people in the
Caribbean had suffered a time ago and now are still suffering. Finally, we can
derive that the symbol in this sub-argument is the skin color and where are you
from, nationality, is a symbol to represent if you are going to suffer of
racism. Or also if you are going to be the one of making this act because in
both stories we have people similar against each other. And briefly in
contextual research we can see this quote that says: “Antihaitianismo is actually the present
manifestation of the long-term evolution of racial prejudice, the selective
interpretation of historical facts, and the creation of a nationalist Dominican
false consciousness.” (Sagás). Where it explains the action of the government of
Trujillo against the Haitians expressing clearly the racism there exist. And this
can be extended to Samuel behavior with Beatrice except the part of
antihaitianismo.

For
the second-argument that supports the main argument is the hatred to women or
expressed in other way the contempt that the women face in both stories. In “1937”the women that were called
witches faced a horrible and cruel fate. They were tortured in different ways
and sometimes killed too. And in “The Glass Bottle Trick” Beatrice is contempt by
Samuel for no questionable reason.  There
is expressed the hatred against women in both stories and also in the Caribbean
because is something still real in this century.

In “1937” we can perceive this when
it says: “The guards shaved her head every week. And
before the women went to sleep, the guards made them throw tin cups of cold
water at one another so that their bodies would not be able to muster up enough
heat to grow those wings made of flames, fly away in the middle of the night,
slip into the slumber of innocent children and steal their breath.” (Danticat, 449).
Here explains how they treated the women who were in jail. The women were
treated like useless things that need to be erased. Something that is very
cruel for anyone and especially in a woman. Then in “The Glass Bottle Trick” we
can see this hatred specifically to Beatrice when it says: “Black Beauty,” she had
joked softly, reaching to pull his face closer for a kiss. At the words, he had
lurched up off’ her to sit on the edge of the bed, pulling a sheet over him to
hide his nakedness. Beatrice watch him, confused, feeling their blended sweat
cooling along her body.  “Never call
me that, please, Beatrice,” he said softly. “You don’t have to draw
attention to my color. I’m not a handsome man, and I know it. Black and ugly as
my mother made me.” “But Samuel …!”. “No.” Shadows
lay between them on the bed. He wouldn’t touch her again that night.”
(Hopkinson, 266). Here it is expressed a little bit of dislike against her.
Although Samuel specify and says “please” he is not treating well Beatrice at
all because of his behavior and he ignored making her to questioned about why
she is being treated like that.

Analyzing this second sub-argument we can conclude that
Beatrice in this case is a symbol and in “1937” the witches are symbols of the
hatred against women. It is also true that these two share in common that are
precisely women and are being treated like nothing. Extending the concept, they
represent much further all the women in the Caribbean that could felt like them
or are going through something like this. In the contextual research we have a
paper that talks about the inequality and treatment of women. And one part
says: “There is agreement that female status carries many disadvantages
compared with that of males in various areas of social life including
employment opportunities, property ownership, income but denied that such inequalities
are useful components of social stratification because, for the great majority
of women, the allocation of social and economic rewards is determined principally
by the family.” (Gordon, 1). And also it says: “This tendency to treat women as family
members and not as individuals with their own social status is deeply embedded
in religious ideology, family law and, more recently, social scientists have
provided the rationale for women’s subordination.” (Gordon, 2). This quotes both talk about Caribbean women
and there unlikely treatment overall. Pointing out that there are ridiculously
terms to satisfy this subordination fo women that still today and not only in
the Caribbean.   

Finally, then the third sub-argument that upkeeps the
main argument is the oppression overall in the Caribbean throughout history
that had left traces of suffering until today. In both stories we see this
oppression. More clearly we see it in “1937” when the Haitians are killed and
ruled over them by the government of Trujillo. And also we appreciate it in “The
Glass Bottle Trick” when Beatrice is stuck in the house because Samuel tell her
that she belongs there and shouldn’t study for any reason. There is expressed
the oppression to the Caribbean within history and further more.  

For “1937” textual evidence we can derive that is how
Trujillo manage to force the Haitians away from Dominican Republic to the point
of making a massacre. Trujillo does everything in his power to oppress the Haitians
no matter what he had to do. And too there is expressed oppression on how the
women were treated in jail. Here we see the guards of the jails as the oppressor,
colonizer, and the women the oppressed being colonized. As this quote can have
established that: “My mother had grown even thinner since the last time 1 had seen
her. Her face looked like the gray of a late evening sky. These days, her skin
barely clung to her bones, falling in layers, flaps, on her face and neck. The prison
guards watched her more closely because they thought the wrinkles resulted from
her taking off her skin at night and then put back on in a hurry, before sunrise.” (Danticat, 448). Then in “The Glass Bottle Trick” for textual evidence
we have: “”Never
mind, sweetness,” Samuel told her. “I didn’t like the idea of you
studying, anyway. Is for children. You’re a big woman now.” Mummy agreed with
him too, said she didn’t need all that now. She tried to argue with them, but Samuel
was very clear about his wishes, and she’d stopped, not wanting anything to cause
friction between them just yet.” (Danticat, 264). This quote express how in a
way Samuel is oppressing Beatrice to just don’t do anything that he doesn’t like,
her mom also agrees with Samuel because she does not want problems although
already she is economically fine thanks to him. But the point is that Beatrice shouldn’t
submit to this oppression and wishes of Samuel. She should be free and decide
what to do anyways with her life.

When we examine a symbol for this sub-argument we can perceive that
Samuel and maybe Trujillo, although he doesn’t appear literally in neither of
the story, are the ones who represent the oppression against anyone. They are
the seemed as powerful and untouchable that makes you fear them and just submit
as Beatrice did. Here we can mix and talk about that this is support by a
theory called colonialism. The colonialism is a theory that occur when one
group of people move to other place and force the people to do the things they
want. This is clearly what happened in the massacre in Haiti at hands of Trujillo
and too it was what Beatrice experienced when she was denied to study by her
mom and Samuel.