Breath, Eyes, Memory Essay

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In many ways, the novel's true heroine is Tante Atie who gains a sense of self and identity only as she grows older. Rejected by a suitor, Augustin, because of her illiteracy, Atie's social role becomes that of caretaker to her aging mother, Ifé. Nonetheless, Atie rebels against her position in the family, and when she has to give up her role as Sophie's surrogate mother-figure, she begins to construct for herself a new life. Her life is reactivated through her being taught to read and write by a market woman, Louise, with whom she develops a strong love relationship. Although both Atie and Ifé have worked diligently to give Sophie and her mother the means to escape the endless cycle of work, poverty, and exploitation, Ifé strongly resents Atie's newfound independence at the same time that she covets it. Through Atie, Danticat presents...

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This section contains 2,124 words
(approx. 6 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Breath, Eyes, Memory Study Guide
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Breath, Eyes, Memory from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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