The Dew Breaker information

The Dew Breaker information - Each tale in 'The Dew...

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Each tale in ''The Dew Breaker'' could stand on its own as a beautifully made story, but they come together like jigsaw-puzzle pieces to create a picture of this man's terrible history and his and his victims' afterlife. Some of the puzzle pieces are missing of course, but this is a matter of design. It is a measure of Ms. Danticat's fierce, elliptical artistry that she makes the elisions count as much as her piercing, indelible words. The Dew Breaker calls his daughter ka -- the ancient Egyptian word for the soul; he sees her and her mother as good angels, his rescuers from his past. When he confesses his past to his daughter, she immediately wonders if he is ''going to explain why he and my mother have no close friends, why they've never had anyone over to the house, why they never speak of any relatives in Haiti or anywhere else, or have never returned there or, even after I learned Creole from them, have never taught me anything else about the country beyond what I could find out on my own, on the television, in newspapers, in books?'' The title character, the so-called Dew Breaker, is a seemingly ordinary Haitian immigrant living a willfully quiet life in Brooklyn with his wife and daughter. But he is hiding a terrible secret: back in the 1960's in Haiti he was a member of the dreaded Tontons Macoute, the blood-soaked enforcers of François Duvalier's murderous regime. The Dew Breaker's name came from the fact that he and his henchmen would usually arrive ''before dawn, as the dew waßs settling on the leaves'' to abduct victims from their homes; he tortured and killed untold numbers of innocents, including a much-loved preacher who dared to speak out against the government. The scar on his face is both a mark of Cain and a reminder of his violent past. The other people in this book -- who, we gradually learn, are members of the Dew Breaker's family and former victims and their family members -- are equally in thrall to the past. Whether they have stayed in Port-au-Prince or left for the United States to try to write a second act to their lives, they all find themselves
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This note was uploaded on 04/09/2008 for the course PHYSICS 101 taught by Professor Agrest during the Spring '08 term at CofC.

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The Dew Breaker information - Each tale in 'The Dew...

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