Initial Post: Choose one of the short stories, "Between the Pool and the Gardenias" or "Eveline," from this module. Re-read the biography information about the author of the short story (either Edwidge Danticat or James Joyce). In a well-organized response, discuss how the author’s background shaped his/her writing. Be sure to use textual reference to support your ideas.
Response: Choose one student to respond to regarding his/her post.
9/17/2013 04:58:42 am
"Eveline" by James Joyce
9/19/2013 12:39:27 pm
I could not agree more with the examples you used connecting the biography to the short story. I like that you added in the detail about how the setting helps Joyce connect more with his reader because it is very true. I have noticed that most authors like Joyce use familiar settings to help connect better with their readers.
9/17/2013 06:38:53 am
In the short story "Between the Pool and the Gardenias" Danticat talks about a young girl that is found in the streets of Haiti and gets raised by the young woman that found her. This story has many consistencies with the life Edwidge Danticat lived when she was younger. Her parents left her in the care of her aunt and uncle when they moved off to New York, so she felt as if she was useless and just a nuisance rather than a person, just like the small child in the story. In addition, the main character and her also shared the same hometown of Port-au-prince, Haiti.
9/20/2013 07:34:33 am
I don't think the narrator in this story was from Port-au-Prince and here's why. The narrator clearly speaks of Port-au-Prince as if she's just arrived. She says, "In the city, I hear they throw out whole children. On door steps, in garbage bags, gas stations, sidewalks. In the two weeks I'd been in Port-au-Prince, I had never seen such a child. Until now." The narrator says "in the two weeks I've been in Port-au-Prince," suggesting this is her first time. Unless she was born there but left at too young an age to remember, I don't see how you made the connection between the author's hometown of Port-au-Prince and the narrator's birthplace. Get it together, Logan.
9/17/2013 07:03:28 am
Based on his biography it can be concluded that James Joyce did bring in some of his background to the story "Eveline". In the story Eveline's mother is dead and in 1903 James' mother died. Another convincing factor is that Eveline's father was verbally abusive and a nasty man who was not very close with his family. Similar to the character in the story was James' father. He was an alcoholic who was not concerned with his families affairs.In the story there is a line about throwing money around and in James' life they did not have much money. There is also mention of Italians in the story and James is originally from Ireland. So there is definitely some background influences in James Joyce's writing.
9/19/2013 10:15:38 am
I agree with your response saying that Eveline's character relates to the authors background in life. James Joyce has experienced many things that he portrays through Eveline. There are quite a few examples of the similarities such as the ones you have mentioned in your reply. In Joyce's background summary, it does mention his alcoholic father, mom who died, poor family, and how he came from Ireland just as you have referred to.
9/17/2013 07:39:20 am
Edwidge Danticat was born and raised in Haiti. Being raised in this country the author would have witnessed many families that were unable to care for their children. The story states "a lot of poor city gals thew out their babies because they couldn't afford to feed them". This is due to the fact that Haiti is a very poor country and therefore, most of the children do not have any opportunities. Ms Danticat most likely was a very visual and creative person as she began writing at the age of 9 years. I would think that using this creativity and all of her experiences which include things like women losing children, imagining what "all my little girls would look. The ones my body could never hold. The ones that somehow got suffocated inside me and made my husband wonder if I was killing them on purpose". She created this story to tell the tale of what many Haitian women endure in their lives which includes fear and loss. However, the story also tells that tale of what these same women hope and dream of, and that is having happy healthy children that they can love and care for.
9/19/2013 07:46:01 am
This is a very interesting angle that you took. I never thought to take her memories of others in Haiti to account, rather I focused on her personal experiences. The idea that she could be telling the story of someone she knew is quite innovative.
9/17/2013 08:16:18 am
The author Edwidge Danticat's work is highly influenced by her life. The most obvious example of this is the setting of "Between the Pool and the Gardenias"; the short story is set in Haiti, the birthplace and home for Danticat for 12 years. A few parts of the short story also include areas and cities of Haiti. For example, it says, "Back in the upper parts of Haiti—the beautiful mountains of Jacmel— where I come from..." The author's knowledge of the cities, towns, and villages in Haiti are clearly displayed in this quote. Also, the author uses lingo and language that is distinctly native to the country of Haiti. For example, the main character in the short story uses words like "Madame" and "Chérie." These terms are specific to the country of Haiti due to it's French influence. Wording and slang like this would be difficult to emulate for authors other than Danticat, but she is from Haiti. Therefore, her work is shown to be influenced by her heritage.
9/17/2013 10:48:10 am
James Joyce is an Irish man, who was born in Dublin, and grew up in a big family. Joyce writes "The Dubliners" during the women's sufferage period in Ireland. In his story "Eveline," Joyce talks about Eveline's life and how feminism has had a big role in it. "Even now, though she was over nineteen, she sometimes felt herself in danger of her father's violence." (Joyce, 1) By this quote, the reader can assume that Eveline has a lot of responsibilities as a nineteen year-old. The feminist and women's suffrage ideas are presented by Joyce through Eveline and her duties and obligations to her family.
9/20/2013 06:23:56 am
I like how you connected the woman suffrage period in Ireland to Eveline's role in the story. Although I felt as though that it had more to do with the fact that it was because his mother died at a young age and he had to help out to support his family. All in all, it could be either or, both make a plausible argument.
9/17/2013 11:01:44 am
James Joyce grew up as the eldest of ten children and must have had a lot if responsibility. After her mother died, Eveline had to take on much responsibility in order to keep the household together. Joyce's father was a drunk who did not create a stable household. "She sometimes felt herself in danger of her father's violence." So, Eveline too, did not have a good father figure in her life just as Joyce did not. Joyce's father took lack of attention to family finances, as did Eveline's father. This can be seen through this line, "that he wasn't going to give her his hard-earned money to throw about the streets." Eveline needed the money in order to prepare dinner and keep the household together. Joyce himself had an illness throughout his life, just as Eveline's mother did toward the end of her life. Through all of this, Joyce's background shaped his writing of "Eveline".
9/20/2013 06:30:37 am
You brought up great points. I agree with you that Joyce's background has had a huge influence on his writing. I enjoyed reading your quotes as they go along well with the connection between Joyce's writings and his past. Also, I liked how you were able to back up your quotes with explanations as to why they are there. You go Samantha!
9/17/2013 11:24:17 am
James Joyce, the author of Evelyn's past reflects his writing because he uses his past life to tie in with how Evelyn’s past life was. Joyce also left the country and went abroad just as Evelyn did. He came from a background of a family who paid little attention to him and didn’t have much money just like the main character Evelyn in the short story. Joyce tries to get across a message that letting go of your past is necessary sometimes. He would know this because he has had past experiences where he has also had to let go of the past and move on to the future.
9/19/2013 03:45:38 pm
I agree that Eveline's past reflected Joyce's past. Also, The family life is strikingly similar between the author and the character he created. I did not pick up on Joyce's message that letting go of the past is sometimes necessary. I think that in the story, Eveline does not let go of her past because she does not go with Frank. So, I am not in total agreement that Joyce was trying to portray that message. Although, it is a wise message.
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