Date of Award
Bachelor of Arts
LACS: French Studies
Blase A. Provitola
In her novel Bain de Lune, Haitian writer Yanick Lahens opens the doors of her native country to a Western readership that may be unfamiliar with its culture and history, in part because it has been mistreated by Western powers ever since gaining its independence in 1804. Readers are transported to the heart of a culture rich in Haitian Vodou traditions through the interwoven stories of the villagers of Anse Bleue, who struggle to survive the political instability of their country. Vodou is foregrounded through the narrative of the spirit of Cétoute, a young woman who is found dead on the beach at the beginning of the novel. This character ties the world of the living to the world of the dead and reveals parts of the story that no other characters can. Through Haitian Vodou, Lahens’ characters challenge traditional Western conceptions of time and death. The novel also exposes readers to the emotional and economic struggles of a Haitian community impacted by its colonial past, the American occupation, the dictatorship of François Duvalier, and the present-day forces of globalization. Through interwoven narratives that stage the conflict between Western and Haitian cultures and religions, Lahens denounces the past and present destruction that has resulted from French colonization and the American occupation.
Freeman, Catherine S., "Les Esprits Vodou, l’oncle Sam, et le crucifix : les relations endommagées entre le monde occidental et Haïti dans Bain de lune". Senior Theses, Trinity College, Hartford, CT 2021.
Trinity College Digital Repository, https://digitalrepository.trincoll.edu/theses/899