Baboukby Guy Endore, Jamaica Kincaid, David Gaspar, Michel-Rolph Trouillot
Loosely based on the Haitian slave insurrection of 1791, Babouk is a biting account of colonialism at its peak. By using the imagination of the novelist to fill in the gaps in the historical record, Endore is able to show us how slavery felt to the slaves who experienced it. His novel is rare for its depiction of the shared history of the slaves and its attention to… See more details below
Loosely based on the Haitian slave insurrection of 1791, Babouk is a biting account of colonialism at its peak. By using the imagination of the novelist to fill in the gaps in the historical record, Endore is able to show us how slavery felt to the slaves who experienced it. His novel is rare for its depiction of the shared history of the slaves and its attention to the variety of the slave experience. It provides the reader with a vivid history of Haiti and a compelling account of slavery and rebellion.
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Want to reveal the harsh lives of a man who served as a slave during the 18th century? Well, "Babouk" it is. This book has a lot of dramatic life experiences working as a slave. Babouk is a slave well-known by many tribes for his excellent storytelling abilities. He is captured by the French and taken to Saint Domingue to work on the sugar cane fields. Unaware of the reasons for his capture and hoping to be reunited with his lost love Niati, Babouk escapes his slave compound and wanders into the forest, only to meet some local Americans. Later on, he gets captured by Maroons. Maroons are runaway slaves who agree to turn in other runaways on the condition that they are allowed their freedom. Babouk remains very silent due to the traumatic experience throughout the years and doing his labor without complaint but also without much energy. As the story progresses, he eventually no longer maintained his silence, and he re-establishes himself as a great storyteller. He was unhappy with the way the slave masters treat him, so he becomes the figurehead for a group of slaves that plan to revolt against their masters. Babouk and his group became successful in their accomplishments, but are eventually held back by the combined force of the French and British military. The author uses imagery in the story to fill in the gaps in the historical record, and this show how slavery felt to the slaves who experienced it. Babouk is a good natured man that always wanted the best. He goes through the harsh days by overcoming being a slave, while doing so, he becomes weak and fatigue. Guy Endore uses a lot of dialogue to show audiences Babouk's story telling. This book somehow reminds me of Adeline from "Falling Leaves" except Babouk wants to meet Niati, which is the woman that he cares for, while Adeline wants to be accepted by her stepmom and family. I like it how the author uses a lot of violence and disturbance to show readers of the harsh conditions the slaves were going through. It demonstrates great suspense. For example: the part where the soldier was spitting on Babouk's face. I was amazed how another human being could do such thing to another human just as simple as that. Although I think it's ironic and sad at the same time how it seems so messed up. Another thing I like is that it shows a lot of imagery and it gives you a visual of the character's emotions and thoughts. For instance: the communication between the whites and the slaves and how the masters did not tolerate the slaves. Babouk was an inspiration to many of the other slaves in the village. If you are into the slave-trade period and suspense, this is the book for you. This book will make you realize that you should treat others the way you want to be treated and to become grateful of the life that you have.