Study Guide

Breath, Eyes, Memory Book 3, Chapter 17

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Book 3, Chapter 17

  • After breakfast, Ifé and Sophie head off to the market. They encounter a group of young Macoute at Louise's stand. One of them singles Sophie out and makes an obscene gesture.
  • Louise follows them through the market and tries to convince Ifé or Sophie to buy her pig. She's left her stand in the hands of a young boy with a kite while she follows the women.
  • Back at her stand, a Macoute yells at the coal vendor, who he accuses of stepping on his foot. He begins to beat the man with his machine gun.
  • Ifé drags Sophie from the scene, since she knows this scene won't end well. When Sophie turns to look, she sees the whole group of soldiers stepping on the man's body. He's spitting blood.
  • She notes that everyone else in the market is frightened into silence—nobody does anything.
  • We learn from Ifé that Atie has been kind of a drag since she returned from Croix-des-Rosets, right after Sophie left Haiti. She drinks and suffers from what sounds like depression.
  • Ifé really wants Atie to leave her, if it will make her happier. She thinks she should send Atie to live with Martine in New York.
  • But Ifé won't consider leaving Haiti. She says she's too close to death to make such a change.
  • Then she tells the story of her children as though it were a folktale, saying that the child who went away (Martine) will never return alive and the youngest will stay and look after the mother.

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