The perception of exile is affected by political historical societal generational cultural and economic factors The geography of a nation geopolitical features and other individual issues also determine the predominance of exile This paper will compare and contrast the representation of exile in the novel Breathe Eyes and Memory and the novel Season of Migration to the North This comparison and contrast will highlight the different perspective scenarios and environment that cause exile among the members of the society In particular it will highlight how the authors narrate the cause and source of exile as well as the narrative used to depict the exile The relations of each literary work to its historical and political context will also be highlighted The paper will use Edward Said s theory of Orientalism from Reflections on Exile to compare and contrast exile in the two literary works The novel Breathe Eyes and Memory is a novel that depicts the historical and cultural perspective of Haiti women being subjected to practices that subject them to the societal expectation to live to their sexuality Danticat 22 It has outlined the sexuality prejudice discrimination male chauvinisms sexual violence and marriage as key issues facing women In the long run Sophie manages to free herself and sees the complexity the evil and good of the political historical cultural societal generational and sexual relationships that are central to her life
The novel Season of Migration to the North depicts the encounter of two Sudanese trapped between the western and African culture upon coming back from Europe They find their country changed with many locals in dilemma of their culture and the dominant imperial colonialist culture Salih 12 The Seasons of Migration to the North provides a battlefield of clashing pre and post colonial cultures of modernity and traditional lifestyles The two novels have been selected for these comparisons because they bear a close resemblance in the manner that the two different authors have portrayed the theme of exile How the two authors narrate the long absence of the key characters in the two books draws a mixed reaction and anticipation among the audience on what awaits the characters upon their comeback to their respective village They therefore provide a different perspective of exiles and the different scenarios that an exile can create within a society A thorough analysis of these two books is therefore fit for ascertaining the nature of exile and their consequences to the perception and anticipation of the audience
The two books have also highlighted the gender discrimination against women misogamy and feminine expectation of the female members of the society There is also a similarity in the dilemma that the main characters in the two books face The eastern and western cultures seem to be conflicting putting the main characters in dilemma of their next course of action Another similarity in the representation of exile in the two books is the aspect of passivity and political violence in shaping the need for exile The book Breathe Eyes and Memory relate to the historical context of women feminism and discrimination that was widely practiced in the Haiti culture The book has also linked the political instability and violence in Haiti to the conflict over the value bestowed on feminine gender leading to some like Sophie fleeing to exile The political violence as portrayed in this book is directed at the female gender illustrating that female body is of no value in the Haiti cultural practices Danticat 32 Entire Haiti is facing political violence and instability because it is believed to be a feminine country further fueling the course of exile The book also relates the exile to the deprivation of Haiti and the difficulties caused by racism prejudice while Sophie and her mother are in the US The book Season of Migration to the north relates to the historical context of civilization and modernity in Sudan that is constantly clashing and in unending conflict It also captures the political violence that led to the destructive class of the western cultures and the East cultures
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