Essay 3 Draft

Zachary McCallum 

English 1121 (Prof. Scanlan) 

05/10/2020 

 

 

¬†‚ÄėNew York Day Women‚Äô Literary Research Paper¬†

 

‚ÄúNew York Day Women‚ÄĚ by Edwidge Danticat focuses primarily on a mother and daughter who immigrated to the U.S from Haiti. Suzette (the daughter)¬†is on a lunch break in Manhattan when she catches her mother out and about. This throws¬†Suzette¬†off guard because according to her, her mother has never¬†left Brooklyn and is wary about taking the train.¬†Suzette follows her mother around to see what she‚Äôs¬†up¬†to.¬†¬†

 

¬†In the article ‚ÄúOral narrative as short story cycle: forging community in Edwidge Danticat’s Krik?¬†Krak!‚ÄĚ,¬†Rocio G. Davis¬†dives into topics such as motherhood, womanhood,¬†class issues and much more.¬†While¬†Rocio G. Davis‚Äô¬†article dives into those¬†topics,¬†‚ÄúMothering the¬†Motherless:¬†Portrayals of¬†alternative¬†mothering, practicing within the Caribbean¬†diaspora‚Ä̬†by¬†Amanda Putnam adds the focus of¬†identifying¬†one’s¬†self¬†along with¬†motherhood.¬†Both¬†articles share¬†a strong message¬†of motherhood,¬†feminism, class issues and¬†self-empowerment.¬†With these documents, I will show how¬†‚ÄúNew York Day Women‚ÄĚ exhibits¬†self-awareness and¬†feminist ethics¬†which¬†the main character goes through due to the help of her mother¬†with the article by Amanda Putnam.¬†After this, I will go into detail about¬†the¬†strong¬†sense of¬†motherhood and¬†feminist ethics¬†in ‚ÄúNew York Day Women‚ÄĚ with Rocio G. Davis‚Äô article.¬†

 

Throughout the story Suzanne‚Äôs recalls bits of advice and messages¬†that her mother use¬†to give her throughout her lifetime. Through her mother‚Äôs¬†guidance and counsel Suzanne becomes¬†enlightened¬†towards the end of the¬†short story.¬†For instance, in ‚ÄúMothering the Motherless: Portrayals of alternative mothering, practicing within the Caribbean diaspora‚ÄĚ Amanda Putnam states ‚ÄúMerle Hodge‚Äôs Crick Crack Monkey and Edwidge Danticat‚Äôs¬†‚ÄúKrik?¬†Krak!‚ÄĚ,¬†offer similar collective mothering practices, showing women within a¬†community¬†nurturing¬†daughters¬†whose mothers are absent. Their purpose is to help the daughters acquire qualities which will allow them to develop into strong adult women‚ÄĚ (Putnam¬†1).¬†Even though Suzette‚Äôs mother in ‚ÄúDay Women‚Ä̬†(apart of Krik?¬†Krak!)¬†was not an absent parent, her mother gave her advice and taught her about life lessons¬†that makes Suzette reflect on her life.¬†This¬†results in her becoming a better woman.¬†For example, in the short story¬†‚ÄúNew York Day Women‚Ä̬†Suzette‚Äôs mothers¬†asks¬†her if she would give her seat up for an elderly lady.¬†Suzette‚Äôs¬†says sometimes she does but, sometimes she doesn‚Äôt.¬†In the third paragraph she says ‚ÄúMy mother, who is often right about that. Sometimes I get up and give my seat. Other times, I don‚Äôt. It all depends on how¬†pregnant the woman is and whether or not¬†he¬†is sitting down‚Ä̬†(Danticat 1).¬†However, at the end of the short story when Suzette is done with her reminiscent thoughts of her mother, she self reflects and decides that when she takes the subway from that day¬†forward,¬†she will give up her seat for an elderly¬†lady¬†or a woman who was pregnant. This not only shows self-awareness but the presence of¬†feminist ethics. She¬†takes¬†consciousness¬†of her actions and who she is and then changes her actions. The¬†feminist ethics kicks in when she finds a¬†newfound¬†appreciation for women. I say this¬†because¬†she doesn‚Äôt just say she‚Äôs going to give up her seat for and¬†elderly¬†woman like her mother but also a pregnant woman.¬†Feminist ethics is a type of ethic that values women and that is what Suzette did at the end of the short story.¬†¬†

 

In ‚ÄúOral narrative as¬†Short¬†Story¬†Cycle¬†Forging¬†Community in Edwidge Danticat‚Äôs Krik? Krak!‚Ä̬†by Rocio G. Davis, the speaker¬†emphasizes¬†motherhood and feminist ethics within his article.¬†The article says ‚ÄúCorollary to this, the story entitled ‚ÄėNew York Day Women‚Äô has a daughter watching,¬†unobserved, as her mother makes her way from her home in¬†Brooklyn, to Madison Avenue where in Central Park¬†she cares for a young child while her Yuppie mother goes jogging : ‚ÄėThis mother of mine, she stops at another hot-dog vendor and buys a frankfurter that she eats on the street. I never knew that she ate frankfurters… Day women come out when nobody expects them‚Äô (150,153). Both stories emphasize the different worlds mothers and children inhabit while linking their mothers. Furthermore, issues of race and class oppression suggested in both stories serve as factors that¬†complicate¬†maternal relationships because they lead the mothers to find ways of surviving or of asserting independence they cannot, or will not,¬†share with their children‚Ä̬†(Davis 76).¬†This quotation from the article highlights¬†motherhood¬†in ‚ÄúNew York Day Women‚Ä̬†because it¬†correlates¬†with Suzette‚Äôs mother taking care of other people‚Äôs children¬†but also touches on the mothership¬†that¬†Suzette‚Äôs mom¬†has with her daughter.¬†For example, Rocio G Davis talks about how Suzette‚Äôs mother¬†didn‚Äôt¬†tell¬†her daughter about her¬†day job¬†which¬†affected her¬†relationship with her child. Even though, Suzette found a new¬†appreciation¬†for her¬†mother¬†I am pretty¬†sure she still wondered why her mother never told¬†her anything about her babysitting job.¬†¬†

 

The speaker also¬†shows feminist ethics within¬†his article¬†when he states ‚ÄúIn a note distributed by her publisher, Danticat defines the challenge she set herself: “I look to the past to Haiti-hoping that the extraordinary female story tellers I grew up with the ones that have passed on will choose to tell their stories through my voice. For those of us who have a voice must speak to the present and the past” (qtd. in Casey 525-26). Danticat’s narrative presents the voices and visions of women, usually mothers and daughters, whose personal tragedies impel them to form community¬†in the midst of¬†oppression and exile‚Ä̬†(Davis¬†68).¬†This shows¬†feminist¬†ethics¬†because¬†it shows how Edwidge Danticat‚Äôs writing displays how women overcome¬†persecution and expulsion. She shows woman in a strong light that does not conform into traditional¬†normative¬†ethics.¬†¬†

 

The writing of Edwidge Danticat is a writing that is not common to find. She writes with experience, emotion and warmth. With ‚ÄúNew York Day Women‚ÄĚ she manages to teach the readers a lesson or two about self-assurance and respect whether the reader be man or woman.¬†‚ÄúNew York Day Women‚ÄĚ did an excellent job of publicizing¬†self-empowerment, motherhood, and feminist ethics.¬†¬†

1 Comment

  1. Leviza Murtazayeva

    1. Does the student state the story title and author in the first paragraph? Yes/No
    – Yes, the student begins his story with:
    ‚ÄúNew York Day Women‚ÄĚ by Edwidge Danticat focuses primarily on a mother and daughter who immigrated to the U.S from Haiti.

    2. What characters does the student examine?
    – The characters that the student examines are Suezett and her mother.

    3. What scene(s) does the student examine?
    – The scenes that the student examines when Suezett follows her mother around and her mother shows her around and teaches her lessons.

    4. What type of ethics does the writer examine?
    – The main ethics that the writer examines is Feminist ethic

    5. What is the writer’s thesis and method? (It is okay to paste it in).

    -” While Rocio G. Davis‚Äô article dives into those topics, ‚ÄúMothering the Motherless: Portrayals of alternative mothering, practicing within the Caribbean diaspora‚ÄĚ by Amanda Putnam adds the focus of identifying one‚Äôs self along with motherhood. Both articles share a strong message of motherhood, feminism, class issues and self-empowerment. With these documents, I will show how ‚ÄúNew York Day Women‚ÄĚ exhibits self-awareness and feminist ethics which the main character goes through due to the help of her mother with the article by Amanda Putnam. After this, I will go into detail about the strong sense of motherhood and feminist ethics in ‚ÄúNew York Day Women‚ÄĚ with Rocio G. Davis‚Äô article. ”

    6.How many peer reviewed articles/chapters does the writer use?
    -The writer uses two articles that are peer-reviewed and will be discussed.

    7. Does the writer quote from the peer reviewed articles/chapters? Be specific.
    -Yes, the writer quotes the chosen articles in his essay to provide explanations and back up for his statements. For example:
    ‚ÄúI look to the past to Haiti-hoping that the extraordinary female storytellers I grew up with the ones that have passed on will choose to tell their stories through my voice. For those of us who have a voice must speak to the present and the past‚ÄĚ (qtd. in Casey 525-26). Danticat‚Äôs narrative presents the voices and visions of women, usually mothers and daughters, whose personal tragedies impel them to form a community in the midst of oppression and exile‚ÄĚ (Davis 68). This shows feminist ethics because it shows how Edwidge Danticat‚Äôs writing displays how women overcome persecution and expulsion.

    8. Are the peer reviewed articles/chapters part of the writer’s thesis?
    -Yes, they are supporting the details of the thesis.

    9. Cut and paste two of the most confusing sentences and explain why they are confusing.
    – Your writing was very clear and straight forward to the point. It was informative and did not bring any confusion. Keep up! Good luck!

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