The Farming of Bones Historical Context

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The Massacre River

In an essay in Kreyol, describing a 1995 visit to the river, Danticat writes, "Between Haiti and the Dominican Republic flows a river filled with ghosts." The Massacre River was named for a seventeethcentury bloodbath, but as Danticat makes clear, it has continued to live up to its name. The river divides the small Caribbean island of Hispaniola into the countries of Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Because the countries are so close, their fates have historically been intertwined. The Farming of Bones begins in the Republic, during the regime of General Rafael Trujillo.

Trujillo Orders Genocide

In 1937, to stop this tide of humanity and implement these "measures," Dominican troops killed between 10,000 and 15,000 Haitians. As Scott Adlerberg remarked in the Richmond Review, "None of those killed is anyone famous, nearly all the slaughtered are poor Haitians working as cheap labor in the neighboring country." Danticat also...

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This section contains 604 words
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Literature of Developing Nations for Students
The Farming of Bones from Literature of Developing Nations for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.