Hope after Despair in Laferriere’s The Return

Hopeafter Despair in Laferriere’s The Return

Individualsare entitled to certain rights, to live and enjoy all kinds offreedom in their native land. However, Dany Laferriere encounters asignificant despair and various challenges in Haiti and goes intoexile to seek refuge in Montreal in 1976 at the age of twenty-threeyears. However, Laferriere at his early twenties had to leaveDuvalierist Haiti after an incident where the Tonton Macoute militiakilled his friend: a journalist, an occurrence that never leaves hismind. It is evident that during the terrible 1970s reign whenJean-Claude, a Dvalier was in power, all the authority as well aspower came from the barrel of a gun (54). The unbearableadministration rules that were enforced without application of lawobliged Laferriere’s father to flee into exile leaving his sonbehind at his tender age of four, desperate of parental warmth andguide (68).

Laferrierehad lost a sense of belonging as he missed the childhood life sincehe got separated from his father though sweet memories of hischildhood still linger as he thinks of the best moments shared withhis mother before his exile in the foreign land. Dany Laferrierespeaks of harsh conditions he faced as a refugee as dire. Laferrierealso writes that he was bound under a tight dictatorship rule fromhis leaders. The human conditions in the area are deteriorated asdictatorship form of leadership takes the lead a state thatLaferriere explains to be unfavorable .

AsLaferrière evolves from childhood to adolescent stage, his sexualinitiation to a point of his loss of innocence is a consequence ofthe dictatorship he experienced in Port-au-Prince. Laferrière alsoobserves the power relationships of young women who use their bodiesfor bargaining power. The worst of all is Haiti’s political regimethat is portrayed through gender relationship. Hope for the despairis foreseen and Laferrière’s sister together with his motherresists the dictatorship in the country and offers each otherstrength about the oppression they undergo. The country is indeedruined by negative influences of male power though the only hope wasgiven by women who provided strength and stability during politicalunrest in Haiti. The women, therefore, shade light to others as theyshare hope to the affected individuals thus, every girl as well asother citizens should be enlightened concerning the effects ofpolitical regime that major on gender discrimination.

Haitirepresents a place of political oppression and fear that strikesevery individual brings despair to citizens however, the hope comesfrom Laferrière through his struggles in life. An encounter with thescene as a shred of evidence is reflected where Laferrière’sfriend, Gasner Raymond was murdered just with the depiction of hisnight in Port-au-Prince before migrating to Montreal. Laferrière hasthe courage to encounter life’s challenges especially the politicalwrangles and the dictatorship of the leaders and encourage those whoare hopeless. Emphasis is made on the survival tactics and how thestate within the foreign land would suit life condition forLaferrière and other refugees. Laferrière finds hope as he decidesto return home for peace, after resolutions at home country, and freefrom political errant. Through the struggles and hardship Laferrièrefaced, he is determined that freedom to unlock hidden treasureswithin a foreign land can only be found after his return.


LaferrièreDany. TheReturn.Douglas &amp McIntyre, (2011). 52-79. Print.