Depression Through Generations, "Nineteen Thirty Seven"

1375 Words6 Pages
“Depression Through Generations” In the story Nineteen Thirty-Seven, by Edwidge Danticat, there are examples of sorrow and depression in almost every paragraph. From the first line of the story, to the last line, it is clear that these are the major themes. Danticat uses the lack of a father figure, the treatment of Josephine’s mother in prison, the physical decline of her mother’s appearance, Josephine’s family history, and her isolation all as ways to focus on the theme of depression and sadness throughout the story. Through many examples, Edwidege Danticat focuses on the themes of depression and sadness being passed down through the generations of this family. “My Madonna cried.” This is the line that opens the story and sets the theme of depression throughout the story. The Madonna doll in the story is used to represent death starting with the first sentence in the story. Josephine instantly thinks that her mother has died when she sees the tear rolling down her doll’s cheek. The doll is also the one thing that the mother holds onto as she tries to cling to what little life she has in prison before she is executed. The doll has been passed down from generation to generation in Josephine’s family, and seems to represent the tragedy of each woman’s demise. Josephine’s mother, Manman, is not introduced to readers in good health, but throughout the story the theme of depression is emphasized by the mother’s rapid decline in health and appearance. When Manman is first introduced to readers she is not in good shape. “Her skin barely clung to her bones, falling in layers, flaps, on her face and neck.” Despite her appearance, it seems that she is holding onto some hope. She tells Josephine that the guards “have not treated me badly.” She also describes to her daughter how the food Josephine brings her lasts for many months. During the next visit, Manman has come

More about Depression Through Generations, "Nineteen Thirty Seven"

Open Document