Study Guide

Breath, Eyes, Memory Genre

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Family Drama

This work centers around the semi-autobiographical (though definitely fictional) Caco family. While Danticat's primary focus is on Sophie, it isn't possible to tell her story without getting up in the business of the other Caco women. That's because Danticat's interested in how things move from one generation to the next: stories, memories, language, cooking, spirituality—oh, and trauma.

The tension between Martine and Sophie propels this work and shapes the arc of the narrative. Sophie' journey toward and away from her mother (and her motherland) and back again is the central concern of the work. It's no wonder, then, that the story ends at Martine's burial, when Sophie finally and literally confronts her mother's violent past.

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