Friday, October 06, 2006

Passionate calls for change

The prologue of Krik? Krak! has the feeling of a valedictory or commencement speech. The emphasis is that the novel is the beginning of the story. Danticat has passed along these stories to the reader in the tradition of Haitian storytelling and the reader is then expected to go out into the world and tell of the Haitian way of life. This idea struck me as particularly Jesuit for a number of reasons. First of all, one of the most famous St. Ignatius quotes is, “Go and set the world on fire.” The point of the quote is that your experience is not meant to be just solely yours, but rather you must take your passions out to the world, so they may understand and learn from your experience. Danticat completely echoes this sentiment when she writes, “You dream of hearing only the beating of your own heart, but this has never been the case. You have never been able to escape the pounding of a thousand other hearts…” (224).
The sentiment is that these messages and morals must be passed on so that they are not lost, so that others may carry the banner. The Jesuits also bring their message out to the world: in Lucas, “God is to be found and worshiped not on a holy mountain but at the ordinary crossroads of human experience,” (2) and in Kolvenbach, “‘the service of faith’ cannot mean anything other than to bring the counter-cultural gift of Christ to our world” (26). While Danticat represents a country, the Jesuits represent an order and both entities are trying to foster an understanding of their ideals. The active nature with which people are called to hear the message unites Danticat, Lucas and Kolvenbach as men and women fighting for a cause with passion.