Krik Krak!

Krik? Krak!
Sometimes, people don’t realize what the future holds for them. Much like the
people in Edwidge Danticat’s Krik? Krak! The people in Haiti aren’t sure what their
future will be like. However there are many hints in this story such as the symbol that the
babies present, the barrenness and struggle of the current life they have, and the many
death’s of the Haitian people.
Babies play a large role as far as what they symbolize. Babies are usually a sign
of hope for a bright future, as well as happiness and simplicity. However in Danticat’s
stories, the babies are born or found lifeless. In Children of the sea, Celianne, the woman
on the boat has her baby but it is born dead. The baby is then a sign of hopelessness,
despair, and also, in a way, the mother’s unwillingness to let go of something that once
was. Many of the babies were also being left on the streets, unwanted. In Between the
pool and the Gardenias, Marie, a young maid who is unable to have children, finds a
small beautiful child on the side of the road, who is seemingly sleeping peacefully in her
little blanket. Marie take’s it upon herself to take the child home with her, but never lets it
sink in that the baby is actually dead. She coddles the baby as though it were really alive
still, however she ends up having to bury the baby because of the smell of rotting flesh
and organs the dead baby was omitting. These babies were meant to be the children of the
future, but without them Haiti would be crushed under it’s own government, leaving the
future a hopeless sad place.
The lives of the people also reflected the future. In A Wall of Fire Rising, Guy
and Lili are forced to live in a small hut because of the lack of opportunity they have to
do better. Guy works in a factory cleaning latrines, which is a gross job that I can’t
imagine anyone would like or appreciate. But it’s the only job he has to help him support
his small family. In the story Night Women, a young mother has to prostitute herself just
to take care of her son. She doesn’t enjoy her job at all but she does it to support her
young son. People are also captured and tortured for silly reasons like witch craft/voodoo,
or having magic powers, such as flying with wings of fire. The women of Nineteen
Thirty-Seven are put into jails that are almost similar to concentration camps. They are
kept in the dark, and are fed nothing but bread and water every now and then. The
women are to have their heads shaved and are kept in small cells together. Life for these
women was very hard and difficult. This is like a looking glass to what the future might
be like for the Haitian people if thing’s were to stay the same.
Death plays a huge role in the future of the Haitian people as well. A lot of the
people were dying in the story. In A Wall of Fire Rising, Guy takes a leap out of a hot air
balloon and takes his life. The pressure from living a life filled with struggle made him
feel like this was his only resort. Manman, from Nineteen Thirty-Seven, Is burned alive
because the Haitian government believed she had “wings of fire”. Celianne, of Children
of the Sea, Throws herself overboard soon after tossing baby Swiss overboard and she
dies an awful watery death. The deaths reflect what may happen in Haiti’s future. The
government soldiers go from house to house killing people, and if they don’t go to the
people’s houses and find them, the people either commit suicide, or try to run away.
Haiti’s future was very uncertain, but one thing seemed clear in the Haitian
people’s mind. It was that they were suffering. The babies, their lives’, and death were all
a good reflection of what could be waiting for the people of Haiti’s future.
-Melissa Reed