Thescars of violence in Latin America
Thetwo novels, Chronicleof a Death Foretoldand TheDew Breaker,contain scenes of violence, murder, and torture, which led to greatsuffering of victims and their eventual death. The proprietors havegreat regrets and scars in their life and no matter how hard they tryto keep the secrets, their deeds still haunt them. These scars havebeen hard to heel not even moving to other places or getting marriedcould erase them. The essay shall discuss some of the characterstheir actions and what came to be of them.
Thenovel, Chronicleof a Death Foretold,gives an account describing the murder of a person who was calledSantiago Naser. He was a very young person at the time of his death.The novel describes the events that resulted in his death and alsothe life of the characters that terminated his life at such an earlystage.
SantiagoNasir was killed after the wedding night of Angela Vicario when herwealthy husband came to realize that Angela was not a virgin, and hedemanded to know the man who had deflowered her. The man who hadwedded Angela was Bayardo San Roman. As a result of this, San Romanwith much anger in his heart makes a decision to return Angela to herfamily. Her family brutally interrogated Angela for an extendedperiod. She decided to inform her brothers that Santiago Nasar wasresponsible for deflowering her (Collins, 2011).
Muchof the evidence throughout the story indicated that Angela had indeedfalsely accused Santiago Nasar of deflowering her which was never thecase. Her brothers, Pablo Vicario and Pedro, believed her and plottedto kill Santiago Nasar in one of the crowded public squares in thebroad daylight. The butcher and the local priest knew of the plot tokill Santiago, but they did not offer any help to try and warn him ofthe impending danger that the twin brothers of Angela meant toterminate his life. After the murder of Santiago, a group of angryArabs with whom the father of Santiago had migrated with chased thebrothers to a local church.
Theywere later jailed and released after three years. Pablo marriedPrudencia Conte, but not even the marriage could save him from thethoughts and regrets that he constantly had after they murderedSantiago with his brother. The events of that night were so vivid inhis mind, and his life was never the same again, and little could bedone to erase those memories in his mind. Pedro later reenlists inthe armed forces and was found to be missing in the enemy territory.Changing of career did not offer much help to them since theiractions had caused permanent damage in their hearts they had notbeen keen enough to try and find out whether what their sister Angelahad told them was true or false.
Bayardoupon realizing that his bride was not a virgin he nearly drunk hislife to death since he had a lot of affection to Angela and he couldnot imagine losing her. His mother and two sisters decided to takehim out of town on a boat so as to stop him from further intoxicatinghimself with liquor. Bayardo and Angela later reunite and marriedeach other. The author of the novel tries to explain that we arealways accountable for our deeds and actions that we take on our daylives, some might have lifetime impact and might not be easy tochange despite the effort that we put to erase that past.
Theauthor of the novel, TheDew Breaker,brings out the blood and bitter history of violence in Haiti thevengeance and acts of corruption of the characters in the novel. Themain character in the novel which is also regarded as the Dew Breakeris an ordinary immigrant from Haiti, who lived in Brooklyn togetherwith his wife and daughter. The man was hiding a very terrible secretdeep down his heart, and nobody knew including his wife of his darkpast. The actions and things that he did had created scars in hislife which seemed to take a lifetime to heal.
Duringthe 1960’s in Haiti, he had been enrolled and was one of themembers of the most feared Tontons Macoute, who were the blood-soakedenforcers of the murderous rule of Francois Duvalier. The name DewBreaker was given to him and his henchmen since they had the tendencyto arrive very early in the morning before dawn just as the dew wassettling on leaves, with the aim of abducting their victims fromtheir homes. He had been involved in the torture of an untold numberof people and was engaged in mass killings of very innocent people.
Theydid not even spare a very much-loved preacher who was brave enough toconfront the government of their heinous acts of oppressing andkilling of innocents. He has a scar on his face which was a constantreminder of the evil and immoral deeds of his violent past. All themembers of that unit despite them moving to other places such asAmerica, changing their careers and starting life a flesh, are stillhaunted by the bad things that they did in Haiti and the people thatthey subjected to untold suffering and eventually killing them. Tothem, the dead have been not only mere ghosts but also palpable, andthey are intimately felt in their daily lives regardless of how hardthey try to change the past.
TheDew Breaker decided to call his daughter Ka, which is an ancientEgyptian word that is used to refer to souls. He felt that he wasmuch connected to spirits since he had tortured and killed many andit was a fact that he had to live with (Walker, 2011). He takes herdaughter and mother to be his good angles sent to deliver him fromall that tormented him. They would love him and embrace him as afather and husband showing the much affection that he had desired forlong, but there was no one to offer it to him. When he confessed hispast to his daughter, the daughter had many questions in mind for thereason as to why his parents had no close friends and whether dopeople still fear them, why his father never spoke of their relativesin Haiti or anywhere else and why he had never returned there.
Hislife had been messed up in his early years, and regardless of theenergy and effort, he tried to make things right still there was alot that needed to be done. He feared going back to Haiti he wasnever at peace even with himself since hurting innocent people for nogood reason would keep on tormenting him for years to come. Changingcareer and moving away from Haiti still did not offer much helpbecause he carried the memories with him wherever he went.
Collins,J. Theethics and aesthetics of representing trauma: The textual politics ofEdwidge Danticat’s The Dew Breaker.Journal of Postcolonial Writing, 47(1), 2011, 5-17.
Walker,D. Chronicleof a death foretold.Public Money & Management, 31(1), 2011, 6-7.