English 1121 (Prof. Scanlan)
May 8th, 2020
New York Day Women
“New York Day Women” is a short story by Edwidge Danticat. The story is about an immigrant family living in the United States. Suzette and her mother are the main characters of the story. In the story, Suzette sees her mother in the city, during the day, and wonders what her mission was. She followed her around, as if she was a stalker to see what her mother was up to. She made the decision not to call her mother to let her know that she had seen her. A decision she later regretted. Instead, she observed her mother’s actions reminiscing when her mother would do those things directly, or indirectly to her. Throughout the story, the relationship between Suzette, and her mother changes. It goes from a questionable one-sided love from her mother to Suzette learning to appreciate and love her mother.
In Samuel A. James Alexander’s article, “M/Othering the Nation: Women’s Bodies as Nationalist Trope in Edwidge Danticat’s Breath, Eyes, Memory,” he points out how women are treated in many underdeveloped countries. He even details how women in Haiti are raped, and mistreated by people in power, and people who are out of power. This lines Danticat’s “New York Day Women” as Suzette’s mother refuses to return to Haiti, even after his sisters had died. While Danticat’s short story points out the ethic Suzette’s mother has, Alexander’s article explains further the reasoning behind her actions in the short story towards Suzette.
To prove this I will first explore the ethics of both Suzette, and her mother. Then I will explain the reasons for their actions from my point of view. Then I will explore Danticat, and Alexander’s past to connect the short, and the article with them.