The Land… of the Free?

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In the selection The Last Department by Katia D. Ulysse, it is evident that though Foufoune is confident that Gwo Manman would live a life of happiness in the United States, the opposite holds true. Gwo Manman dies in this so-called “land of the free” that Foufoune brings her to. “Foufoune had kidnapped her from her home and was forcing her to live in the worst kind of exile” (224). Though many dream of living in the United States, nicknamed the “Land of the Free” or “Where Dreams Can be found,” this is not the case for Gwo Manman nor Foufoune. Gwo Manman is insistently brought to the states through Foufoune and her sister, Miriam, never forgives her for it. The tragic fate of Foufoune is held in Miriam’s hands that decide to murder her in Haiti. “Her mother and sister had both returned home to her in Puits Blain. This time to stay” (241). Ulysse’s story proves that there is disillusionment towards America’s “freedom.” Most people see Haiti as a place not worth living in. However, Haiti would have been the haven that could have kept both Gwo Manman and Foufoune alive. Sometimes, receiving aid that is not asked for reaps its own consequences.
Foufoune, who promises her a better life, brings Gwo Manman, who is shown to live comfortably and happily in Haiti, to the Americas. However, Gwo Manman feels that Foufoune kidnapped her from the place she feels most comfortable with and slowly deteriorates while living with Foufoune. Gwo Manman had a much happier life in Haiti but her freedom – the long walks along Route des Frères with friends, the taste of Barbancourt in her mouth, the pleasure of wild drum music, being shirtless under the noonday sun – is stolen from her. For Gwo Manman, America becomes her solitary confinement. Her troub...

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...n Puits Blain.

Works Cited

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Ulysse, Katia D. "The Last Department." Haiti Noir. By Edwidge Danticat. New York: Akashic,
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