Antihaitianism In Edwidge Danticat's The Farming Of Bones

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Edwidge Danticat novel, The Farming of Bones, provides readers with an understanding of the relations of Haitians and Dominicans by chronicling the Haitians escape from the Dominican Republic following the parsley massacre and emphasizing the importance of remembering the past. Though it is a work of fiction, Danticat is able to present characters and plot points that illustrate the racial and ethnic relations between Haiti and The Dominican Republic that led to the spread of antihaitianismo. The main themes of the novel explores the impact of nationalism and the formation of ethnic/racial formation through the characters actions which allows the reader to understand the ethnic/racial tension occurring at the time on a much personal level,…show more content…
Under the Regime of Dominican dictator Rafael Leonidas, Dominican soldiers and civilians wielding machetes, bayonets and rifles massacred about 15,000 – 30,000 Haitians, using the pronunciation of “perejil” to identify who was Haitian (Ghosh, 2012). This act of genocide by Dominican dictator Rafael Leonidas “ordered the massacre as a way of ‘whitening’ his country, portraying it as a paternal act to save his people from Haiti” (Simões, 2011). The novel, The Farming of Bones, shows the terror and cruelty that was a result of this genocide; it can be seen in the beating and torturing of Haitians, including Amabelle after recognizing that they cannot pronounce “perejil”. Throughout the novel, the reader is given the opportunity to experience the mindset of the Haitians as they try to escape being killed over a simple pronunciation. The pronunciation of “perejil” illustrate how ethnic/ racial relations are socially constructed and do not have to be based on phenotypes of scientific fact and language can also be a marker for identifying race and…show more content…
The novel deals with the pain and pleasure of the past and present and how that effects the identity construction of an individual. The ethnic/racial identity of an individual can be influences by the complexities of a post-colonial society filled with social clashes, inferiority, and the othering of individuals. The novel focuses on the Haitians who have migrated to the Dominican Republic to escape poverty but are still alienated and devalued because of their poor economical conditions. By migrating to the Dominican Republic and crossing the boundary between the two countries they are symbolically being marked as ‘other’ and seen as ‘inferior’ by
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