Edwidge Danticat’s The Farming of Bones and Julia Alvarez’s In the Time of Butterflies

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Edwidge Danticat’s The Farming of Bones and Julia Alvarez’s In the Time of Butterflies We have all heard the saying, “it’s a man’s world”. It appears that our world is governed according to a man’s perspective and thoughts as to how the world should be run, and women gracefully bow down to this perspective and internalize those male supremacist notions of patriarchal dominance. Even with this seemingly innate belief that men have, it is still apparent at times that there is another view that is often glossed over and ignored in the pursuit of extreme power and superiority. In Edwidge Danticat’s The Farming of Bones and Julia Alvarez’s In the Time of Butterflies, we are able to dissect society through the eyes of women who have had to endure life in these societies. These women offer a fresh perspective, and they both challenge and assert the patriarchal view that is most often presented in discussion about civil unrest. In the Time of Butterflies gives us a view of women who fought their own battle during unrest within their country. In fact, these women become famous because of what they do, and they create their own notoriety aside from being linked with a man. Farming of Bones gives us a view of a woman who has to endure hardship and trials within her society and still manages to survive. She survives, although her survival is contingent upon illusion, without a male by her side to support her or to dictate her life. Through these two novels, we are able to ascertain the feelings of the women in the midst of the struggles. Throughout the novel, we see the influence that Trujillo has over the women’s actions for the simple fact that he is in charge. There is a domination that men have that seeps ... ... middle of paper ... ...dered the backbone of society. However, both views are tainted by remnants of patriarchy. It does not appear that these two authors are able to present women without introducing the male factor of society. While both texts present strong views that negotiate patriarchal nationalism and both texts consider the view of patriarchal society, it is apparent that Danticat’s novel gives a better view of the struggles from the true view of a woman. Alvarez’s novel would appear to do so because it is in diary form coming from the direct mouths of women, but these women’s stories are so tinged with the decisions that men have made over their lives that it appears that they have internalized patriarchal domination. Though Amabelle’s story includes patriarchal tendencies, her story is more about her and her beliefs about the society that she is forced to live in.

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