Stepfan Hospedales

Essay 3 First Page

English 1121(Prof. Scanlan)

May 9, 2020



The Message to the World


In Edwidge Danticat’s New York Day Women, the main characters are Suzette and her mother. In this short story, Suzette follows her mother throughout the day to see how well she has adjusted to the big city, and how her experiences growing up in Haiti prepared her for a new life in New York City. With the frequent flashbacks of wisdom pass down from mother to daughter, Suzette transitions to a better person with a different mindset, similar to her mother. The story also displays a pure relationship between a mother and her daughter, and how deep their love is for each other.  Robyn Cope’s article “‘WE ARE YOUR NEIGHBORS’: EDWIDGE DANTICAT’S NEW NARRATIVE FOR HAITI,” dives into what Danticat seeks to do with her writing, that of humanizing Haiti and giving the country a voice.  Contrarily, Achy Obejas’ renowned speech honoring Danticat; dubbed as “Bearing the Unforgivable: A Tribute to Edwidge Danticat,” highlights Danticat writing style that speaks on its’ own. Obejas speaks on how Danticat’s stories have a way to make her readers question life, the unknown things around us, our relationships, and ponder what our morals and ethics are. While Cope’s article give readers’ awareness of Haiti’s situation and how Danticat’s writing seeks to humanize Haiti, Achy sees Danticat’s writing as a door for readers to really think about what’s around them, question and understand their relationships,  ponder the lives of others, while also figuring out ones’ character. To prove this, I will examine the short story New York Day Women to show the ethics of Suzette and her mother, and the morals Suzette’s mother display throughout the story. I will also dive into Danticat’s early years to draw connections to her writing. Finally, I will look into some points supporting Cope’s argument using the short story to concoct a counter-argument.

The ethics displayed by Suzette and the flashbacks that highlight her mother’s ethics, brings out the pure relationship between the two into fruition, and who they are morally.

(346 words)