In “New York Day Women” by Edwidge Danticat the speaker tells a short story of a Haitian family who moved to the U.S. It focuses on the mother and daughter of the family who are the main characters. The story takes place in New York and is spoken in present tense. The daughter catches her mother out and about in a place where she never pictured her mother to be. Her mother (according to the speaker) has never left Brooklyn. However, she finds her mother in Manhattan. She stealthily follows her mother around. While she follows her mother, she remembers advice and memories of her mother when she was younger.
For example, she recalls when her mother asked if she would give up her seat for and “old lady” like her. The speaker said that she would give up her seat sometimes but, not all the time. However, towards the end of the story she shows growth and says when she gets on the subway later that day, she will give up her seat for somebody her mother’s age. What motivates her to give up her seat is her newfound appreciation and respect for her mother and all women. While she followed her mother, she gained admiration for her mother to see the hard work she puts into a day to day basis. She ends up finding out that her mother babysits other people’s children along with other women.
The story shows how the speaker’s mother has assimilated into the new world. In the beginning, she remembers how her mother would have difficulty getting adjusted into American culture. Watching her interact easily with the vendors, bikers, and children showed the speaker that her mother was going to be okay. It a pleasant turnaround for her to see her mother adjust well into the new world.