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Breath Eyes Memory, a novel written by Edwidge Danticat, tells of a young, Sophie Caco, who matures up to be a woman as she was delimited by the Haitian culture. The story starts with Sophie who is aged six and living with her aunt Atie in Haiti. Born after her mother, Martine was sexually molested. Danticat puts together a narrative of a young woman of Haitian origin coming to terms with her mother, her nation, and her own identity. Sophie’s mother, Martine, leaves her behind with her aunt since she is trying to pull through from her problems. At only twelve, Sophie’s mother sends for her to come reside with her in America. Nonetheless Sophie refuses to go as her mother forced her to undergo a traditional virginity test. At18, Sophie falls in love with Joseph, a neighbor who is much older. Joseph is a musician whom Martine does not approve of. Consequently, Sophie is not able to forget the truth that her mother made her undergo the test and each time she sleeps with her husband she likely remembers the testing. Martine and Sophie begin to work on their mother-daughter bond and problems they have faced all through their lives. The story however has a tragic ending leaving readers in suspense if Sophie learns to accept the bond with mother.
At 12, she is to joins her mother as she moves from an impoverished town of Croix-des-Rosets to America to live with her. However there are hidden memories from Haiti buried away that afflict both Sophie and her alienated insomniac mother (Danticat, pg. 85). She uncovers hidden secrets no child ought to ever make out, that her mother is distraught from a rape ordeal that happened years ago. Later when Sophie is all grown up and has a family of her own, she realizes that her mother condition is worsening.
Neither Sophie nor Martine can run away from the burden of the past, which ultimately leads to sexual trauma, bulimia, insomnia and mental torture
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