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Krik? Krak! | Study Guide

Edwidge Danticat

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Krik? Krak! | Night Women | Summary



The prostitute who narrates "Night Women" describes her nightly routine of putting on makeup and nice clothing for the men who visit her. The prostitute's son sleeps nearby and she reflects on her immense love for him. She tries to not wake her son up with her activities. She plans to tell her son that the visitor is his father or an angel if he ever does wake up to her working. She muses to herself about her belief that there are night women and day women and that she finds herself somewhere in between the two types. According to the prostitute, day women who have socially encouraged careers and families lack independence compared to women who work in other roles throughout the evening and into the night.


The prostitute is one of several characters throughout the collection who are forced to act in ways they find unpleasant or immoral because they need to survive. The prostitute's son has to witness her encounters with men. She is pained by this fact and prays that he stays asleep. She considers stories to tell her son to explain the presence of a man in the event that her son does wake up. The prostitute justifies her professional activities to herself by rationalizing that she has more independence than the "day women" who enjoy careers or lifestyles that are legal and socially acceptable. The prostitute's clear and strong love for her son is juxtaposed by her need to act in ways that may potentially endanger his well-being. She must balance her desire to protect her son's well-being with the need for them both to physically survive. The prostitute's dilemma represents others who must make painful decisions and sacrifices to survive.

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