Breath, Eyes, Memory Themes

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Immigration and Assimilation

Throughout the book, Sophie and Martine travel from Haiti to the United States, and back to Haiti. The contrasts between the two settings and cultures are vivid and all-encompassing, and as both women note, it is difficult to find your way in a foreign country. Both women learn to speak English - which Grandma Ife refers to as "that cling-clang talk," and which Sophie says sounds "like rocks falling in a stream," but they also continue to speak their own language, Creole. They eat American food because Haitian food reminds them of the emotional pain they endured in Haiti, but at the same time they long for traditional dishes with ingredients like cassava, ginger, beans and rice, and spices. Sophie hates her school because it is a French school, and she feels she might as well have stayed in Haiti - but she is also uneasy...

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This section contains 783 words
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Buy the Breath, Eyes, Memory Study Guide
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Literature of Developing Nations for Students
Breath, Eyes, Memory from Literature of Developing Nations for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.