Sample Essay

Sophie falls in love with a boy by the name of Joseph and when one night she comes home late, she is faced by an enraged, hysterical Martine, forces Sophie to come upstairs and quickly tests her virginity. In all of the upcoming weeks, the constant tests for virginity come to take place and Sophie begins to feel disheartened and out-of-the-way. As a final point, in extreme anxiety, Sophie spears herself with her mother’s spice grinder, flouting her hymen. She, as a result fails Martine’s test, and is thrown out of the home, at which point she elopes with Joseph to Providence, R.I.

Sophie comes into La Nouvelle Dame Marie, Haiti, with her newborn daughter Brigitte, and has not been in talking terms with her mother in two years. She finds Macoutes itinerating the marketplace, a distressed Louise trying to heave money to go away from Haiti, and a progressively more alcoholic Atie. Nevertheless, the women are overjoyed with Brigitte, whom they announce has Martine’s face.

The motivation for Sophie’s trip slowly but surely becomes apparent. She went away while Joseph was on excursion, driven to extreme anxiety by an abhorrence of her body and a fear of sex. Despite the fact that Joseph is sympathetic and kind, she cannot sleep with him without doubling-up. She blames her irrational fear on Martine’s constant tests that were carried out on her, and in turn on Grandmè Ifé’s testing of Martine.

After a number of days into her trip, Louise turns up in tears with the information that the Macoutes have without rhyme or reason killed a poor firewood seller by the name of Dessalines, in the marketplace. Sophie intercedes on her mother’s rape, almost certainly due to a Macoute and on the Haitian fascination with the purity of the female sex.

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