Do you find your life hard? In Haiti most people have hard lives, but those people work hard and live their lives the way they can. How is it that living with all their daily struggles they manage to find the strength to keep working as hard as they do? In the book Krik Krak, a series of short stories, the author Danticat, utilizes juxtaposition to create realistic characters that in return create a hopeful mode throughout the book even in hopeless situations.
The specific examples that best display realistic characters creating an overall sense of hopefulness are a mother who wants more for her son, a boy in search of safety, and a girl who looks for beauty even in ugly places. In the first short story in the book, children of the sea, the boy, one of the main characters, has to make a hard life choice in anticipation for a safety. He is fleeing a country the only home he has ever known in hopes of a new better one. “… watching some little boy or girl every single day on this sea, looking into their empty faces to remind me of the hopelessness of the future in our country” (pg. ).
Despite his discouraging situation and having to have left his love behind you have faith that the boy will live and make it to America. “I used to read a lot about America before I had to study so much for the university exams. Tam trying to think to see if I read anything more about Miami. It is sunny” (pg. 6). The character’s chance at a new life creates a feeling of hopefulness. This happens, in having the character moving towards a sunny place and away from a despairing home, leaving the reader with an optimistic view on the story regardless of how bad life in Haiti seems to be.
In one of the earlier short stories of the book, a wall of fire rising Lili, one of the main characters, holds out hope that her son can live a better life than what is expected by everyone else. Uniquely unlike most parents who believe their children will have to live the same hard life that they have had to Lili has a higher hope for her son. “‘I don’t want him on that list,’ she said. ‘For a young boy to be on any list like that might influence his destiny. I don’t want him on that list””(pg. 66).
However, while Lili has hope for her son and wishes for a better destiny for him, her husband, and little guy’s father does not share those hopes with Lili. “remember what you are, Lili said. ‘a great rebel leader. Remember, it is the revolution” do we want him to be all of that? Guy asked” (pg. 55). Even if others do not believe more in Lili’s son she is ready to stand alone in her hope, because she is proud of him. “it left them feeling much more love then they knew they could add to their feeling for their son. ‘ Bravo,’ Lili cheered, pressing her son into the folds of her apron. ‘Long live Boukman and long live my boy” (pg. 57).
The character’s strong love for her son creates a feeling of hope for the boy. This happens in having believe in her son so fully even when not even her husband does not leaving the reader rooting for her and the boy. In the short story seeing things simply the main character, Princesse, finds beauty even in ugly places and situations. Initially Princesse does not know much about art’ but as she learns more she wishes to leave something beautiful behind for when she is no longer here. ” it struck Princesse that this is why she wanted to make pictures, to have something that showed what she had observed in a way no one else had… (pg. 140).
It is inspiring that even in a hard life were violence such as daily cock fights that happen around her, however she finds beauty in a cruel world and wishes to share it with the world. “The cock fight had just begun. Princesse heard the shouting from the school yard as she came out of class. The roster that crowed the loudest usually received the first blow. It was often the first to die” (pg. 125). Despite the violence in her life you admire the beauty she finds surrounding her. “Standing there, Princesse wished she could paint that.
That all the night skies that she had seen, that the full moon and the stars peeking down like tiny gods acting out their will… Princesse thought that she could paint that”(pg. 137). The character’s way of finding beauty in a drack world creates a feeling of hopefulness that the world has light even in the darkest of places. This happens in having her find beauty in the cruel world she finds herself in and her want to share that beauty with the rest of the world. Life in Haiti is not the best, it is hard and can be cruel, but as you read in the book there are strong people who can spread hope in a tough Haiti.
The book Krik Krak is a series of short stories filled with juxtaposition used by the author Danticat. The book has an uplifting mood created by all the realistic characters. Some people may think in a situation where a boy’s life is not certain, a society has already written your future for you, and a girl lives in constant violence there is no hope, but it is the characters that bring hope into these seemly hopeless situations. We in our lives often find that they are hard and never really think that someone may have it harder than we do but maybe we should.