Sunday, January 31, 2010

El Reino de Este Mundo, parte 2

While Caprepntier continued to use a sense of magic to describe the Haitian Revolution, the themes and passing events became even more morbid than in the first part of the book. The slaves are continually abused by their oppressors, whether those oppressors be white or black. There was no way of escaping a monarchy in Haiti. What was bitter-sweet for me was the attitude of the slaves. They maintained a positive outlook and continued to fight for their emancipation and rights, but no matter how hard they fought, they could not overcome oppressive monarchies. It is a theme that I believe demonstrates the actual state of Haiti and its people and has been perpetuated until today.

Another point I wanted to bring up is the idea of escapism. The way the story is written, Ti Noel doesn't actually express very much emotion, and I don't feel like I knew the character very well. It seemed as though he served more as a narrator than someone I could identify with (although this could very well be due to the language barrier and the fact that it was difficult for me to understand everything that was happening). Anyway, this idea of detachment parallels the use of magical realism; it is almost as though the magic is used as a way to escape reality and make things seem better than they actually were. The magic is embraced by the slave culture as a coping mechanism and is what allowed the Haitians to maintain their positive attitude and perserverance.

All-in-all, I truly enjoyed this book, even though it is a very somber subject, especially given the current situation in Haiti. Carpentier was able to capture slave, African, white, and Haitian culture, integrating them in a way that told the history of a country that has long been overlooked and forgotten.

1 comment:

  1. I don't know if you noticed this syntax: "Carpentier was able to capture slave..." Thought that was funny.

    I liked what you were saying about escapism and how that relates to not only the slave culture in Haiti, but to magical realism as a whole. Cool stuff.