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OL' Higue

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Makarios Rolle

on 7 February 2014

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Transcript of OL' Higue

Ol' Higue
Are Superstitions logical?
Breaking a Mirror
Part of this goes back to the stone age, when the first caveman wandered to a lake for a drink and saw his own handsome sloping brow reflected back at him from the water. Having no knowledge of optics--at this point mankind's still struggling with pointed-stick technology--it was a logical leap for him to believe that this reflection was a duplication of himself and shared a part of his soul somehow.

This way of thinking stubbornly held for millennia, with the belief being that damaging a mirror--and thus your reflection--would damage a part of your soul. There's also a more simple explanation. Glass mirrors, as opposed to less breakable ones made of polished metal, weren't really available until the 16th century and were very expensive luxuries reserved for the upper classes. If the servants that cleaned these mirrors were to break one, well, let's just say it was a lot easier to replace a human being back then than a mirror.

Also, if a more middle-class family were to buy one and then break it, it would probably take quite a while to scrounge up the money for a new one--say, around seven years. So the warning to clumsy children wasn't so much about "bad luck" for seven years if they broke the mirror, but rather "continuous beatings."
Analyzing the Poem
The poet is conveying the interpretation of an infant’s cause of death in the village, through the legend of Ol’ higue (what the locals blamed it on).
Superstition Exist as only a way to Escape Reality
I don't want to know what I am paying for.
Devices McAndrew Uses
Anthropomorphism Definition:
Anthropomorphism can be understood to be the act of lending a human quality, emotion or ambition to a non-human object or being. This act of lending a human element to a non-human subject is often employed in order to endear the latter to the readers or audience and increase the level of relativity between the two while also lending character to the subject. Example: The soucouyant being able to cry out in pain like a normal innocent human.
What is an Ol' Higue?
Ole Higue Legend- The soucouyant lives by day as an old woman at the end of a village. By night, she strips off her wrinkled skin, which she puts in a mortar, following which she flies in the shape of a fireball through the darkness, looking for a victim. Still a fireball, the soucouyant enters the home of her victim through cracks and crevices, like keyholes.

Wordsworth McAndrew
Makarios Rolle JR.
Do superstitions rely on illogical gullibility?
Soucouyants suck people's blood from their arms, legs and soft parts while they sleep. If the soucouyant draws too much blood, it is believed that the victim will either die and become a soucouyant or perish entirely, leaving her killer to assume her skin. The soucouyant practices witchcraft, voodoo, and black magic. Soucouyants trade their victims' blood for evil powers with Bazil, the demon who resides in the silk cotton tree.
To expose a soucouyant, one should heap rice around the house or at the village cross roads as the creature will be obligated to gather every grain, grain by grain (a herculean task to do before dawn) so that she can be caught in the act. To destroy her, coarse salt must be placed in the mortar containing her skin so she perishes, unable to put the skin back on. Belief in soucouyants is still preserved to an extent in some Caribbean islands, including Dominica, St. Lucia, Haiti, and Trinidad.

The skin of the soucouyant is considered valuable, and is used when practicing black magic
Purchase Your tickets for the Caribbean ... We are going to learn about the Soucoyant Legend....
Creeping out of the bush.....
Find de baby where 'e lie
Change back faster than de eye.
Find de baby, lif de sheet,
Mek de puncture wid you teet',
Suck de baby dry.
Stanza 3
The Ol’higue has only hunger/ addiction for the blood of young children/ infants.
The skin she wears is of a school teacher, and countless nights the poet relays her feeding on infants.

Next day schoolchildren flock you round.
"Ol' higue, ol' higue!" dey hollerin' out
Tek it easy, hold you mout'
Doan leh dem find you out.
Stanza 5
The poet conveys the idiocy of superstitions.
The soucouyant is bound by invisible rule to collect each grain of rice without dropping any, an act that was so industrious and time taxing that the soucouyant will be caught in the act. However an innocent person can be falsely accused just for cleaning up an accident or salvaging what was to be his only meal for weeks.

Woman you gwine run or not?
Doan mind de rice near to de cot.
De smell o' asafoetida
Like um tek effect 'pon you.
You wan' get kyetch or what?
Stanza 8
Foreshadowing Definition
: The literary device foreshadowing refers to the use of indicative words/phrases and hints that set the stage for a story to unfold and give the reader a hint of something that is going to happen without revealing the story or spoiling the suspense. Foreshadowing is used to suggest an upcoming outcome to the story.
Imagery Definition
: In literature, one of the strongest devices is imagery wherein the author uses words and phrases to create “mental images” for the reader. Imagery helps the reader to visualize and therein more realistically experience the author’s writings. The usage of metaphors, allusions, descriptive words and similes amongst other literary forms in order to “tickle” and awaken the readers’ sensory perceptions is referred to as imagery.
Motif Definition
: The literary device ‘motif’ is any element, subject, idea or concept that is constantly present through the entire body of literature.
Symbol Definition: A symbol is literary device that contains several layers of meaning, often concealed at first sight, and is representative of several other aspects/ concepts/ traits than those that are visible in the literal translation alone.
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