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The Farming of Bones 20-29
Transcript of The Farming of Bones 20-29
Matt Glass The Farming of Bones 20-29 Chapter 20 This chapter tells us about Rafi’s funeral. Amabelle goes to consult Kongo to see if he will allow Don Ignacio to visit him and he refuses. On the morning of the funeral, when all the workers are passing by to the fields, Senora Valencia invites them all in for coffee. After they use her china dishes Senor Pico smashes them all. Chapter 21 Amabelles’s dad makes lanterns for Christmas. The theme of masks is presented for the first time.
“It would be too vain," he says, "to spend more time than God reproducing one’s self.” (117) Chapter 22 Rosalinda is finally baptized. Kongo comes to Amabelle to bring Sebastien’s proposal, and after she says yes she runs to the other plantation to see him. On the way she meets Unel and his band of militia. Tension continues to rise. Chapter 23 Amabelle dreams of the Sugar Woman. She is a masked stranger who foreshadows something to come in Amabelle’s future concerning Sabastien. Chapter 24 Senora Valencia is training to shoot. She almost shoots Amabelle, and Pico does not even care, but advises her on how to better shoot for the head. The tension between the Haitians and Dominicans is rising to a boiling point. Key Passages:
“Tell him I am a man,” he said. “He was a man, too, my son.” (109)
“He did not scold her, but once he discovered that she had used their imported orchid-patterned tea set, he took the set out to the yard and, launching them against the cement walls of the house latrines, he shattered the cups and saucers, one by one.” (116)
Questions: How does this quote by Kongo (a Haitian) represent the theme of need for equality in this book? How does this play-out going forward?
Why do you think Pico smashed the cups? “Some things are too wasteful to remember,” he said, “like burning blood in an oil lamp.” (121) What does this mean?
“I’m not surprised,” he said, “that my son has already vanished from his thoughts.” (124) What does this chapter tell us about the value of life between Haitian’s and Dominicans? “You are my eternity.” pg. 133 Who is the Sugar Woman? “You must know how to protect yourself,” Senor Pico said..“We have never had these fears before,” she said. (136)
“It almost seems like we are at war,” (137) How does this chapter play an important part in foreshadowing the future tension between the two nations?
What does Senor Pico’s lack of care concerning almost shooting Amabelle show about the Dominican’s view of Haitians? Chapter 25 What does this dream reveal regarding her inner struggle with losing her parents? Chapter 26 Dr. Javier tells of the rumors of killing Haitians. The rounding up of the Haitians takes place. Amabelle and Yves set off in pursuit of Sebastian and Mimi.
On page 140, war breaks out—beginning the farming of Haitian bones. “Things are never even,” Kongo said. “if it was so, his life and my life would make things even.” (144)
“What you do in the cane fields is worse than kneeling!” Senor Pico shouted back. “You work like beasts who don’t even know what it is to stand. Put down your machetes. I have no cane for you to cut now.” (154) Amabelle has a dream about being led by her parents, but the storm takes them away.
“After the storm has cleared, I find myself with hands raised up, in motionless prayer, as though some invisible giants were guiding me forward, my face tipped up towards the trees covered with a veil of white loam.” (139) Chapter 27 Yves and Amabelle meet other travelers including some Dominicans. The girl’s corpse falls off the wagon. Tibon reveals the truth of what happens to the Haitains in the trucks . The 6 and the 6 and the 6…
“The ruin of the poor is their poverty,” Tibon went on, “The poor man, no matter who he is, is always despised by his neighbors. When you stay too long at a neighbor’s house, it’s only natural that he becomes weary of you and hate you.” (178) Chapter 28
“He won’t say what I want him to say, that we’re the same, me and him, flesh like flesh, blood like blood.” (182) The sisters are dismissed from the group. The discovery of the town reveals even the “rich” Haitians are being killed.
Tibon, Yves and Amabelle reach Dajabon. The general gives a speech, during which the townsfolk beat the Haitians (the notorious force feeding of Parsley scene), resulting in the death of Tibon. Yves and Amabelle flee the town with Odette.
“We used parsley for our food, our teas, our baths, to cleanse our insides as well as our outsides. Perhaps the Geralissimo in some order was trying to do the same for his country.” (203)
Chapter 29 Major Themes (by Chapter)
Dreams (20, 22), Masks (21, 22, 23), Shadows (23), Foreshadowing (24, 28), Racial Tension (20, 22, 24, 26, 29), Death (20, 24, 27, 28, 29)
Final Thoughts: Edwidge Danticat starts her book with Judges 12:4-6.
Why does Danticat start the book with this quote?
How does the book of Judges correlate with events in The Farming of Bones (183,191,203)