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English (U.S.)
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Create Dangerously And Make Your Home Among Strangers (Essay Sample)


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This assignment will ask you to use Chapter 1 of Edwidge Danticat’s Create Dangerously as a lens to read the excerpt of Jennine Capo-Crucet’s novel Make Your Home Among Strangers. Lensing means applying the concepts and ideas of one text (in this case, Create Dangerously) as a framework for interpreting the other (Make Your Home Among Strangers.) Think of lensing as occupying the perspective of the lens text and reading the other text from that point of view.

When interpreting a text through a lens, you should consider not only areas where the lens works well but also areas where the lens does not match up to the text. In other words, in what ways do Danticat’s ideas about creating dangerously work well to analyze Make Your Home Among Strangers, and in what ways might Danticat’s framework not fit, and why? Remember that lensing does not merely compare and contrast the two texts, looking for similarities and differences. Rather, it uses the conceptual tools offered by the lens text to analyze and gain meaning from the other text.

 A successful lensing essay will…

  • Demonstrate a strong grasp of the concepts, ideas, and arguments offered by Create Dangerously
  • Use the concepts expressed in Create Dangerously to meaningfully interpret and analyze Make Your Home Among Strangers
  • Discuss areas in which Danticat’s framework does not match up with Make Your Home Among Strangers
  • Offer a clear thesis statement and use a logical organization
  • Use textual evidence from both texts to support its argument

Avoid compare/contrast


Create Dangerously by Edwidge Danticat and Make Your Home Among Strangers by Jennine Capo-Crucet
Create Dangerously by Edwidge Danticat is a reflection on art and exile of an artist from a nation that experiences a crisis. Danticat combines both memoir and essay to give stories of the artist and herself in despite and horrors who become alien in America. The novel gives a narration of various characters who strive against all the awkward moments and odds to show that humankind is equal irrespective of the differences in nations as everybody faces problems such as natural disasters, atrocities such as mutilation and torture, and suffering from diseases among others. The novel Create Dangerously has the concept of blending personal anecdote, history, and reflection on the essence of responsibility that is applicable in unwinding and analyzing Make Your Home Among Strangers.
Danticat uses a personal anecdote to confront the various challenges as a Haitian writer. For example, the narrator elaborates on Diaspora conflict in a painful way especially for the writers and artists who reside in other places or nations outside Haiti. However, the artists use the Haitian materials to express their feelings. An essay "Walk Straight" from the novel Create Dangerously, Danticat tries to recall a man saying, "Why was she taught to read and write?" "That is not using. The things she writes, they are not used." (Danticat 32) Besides, cases she has been referred to as a parasite who only exploits her culture for money and fame (Danticat 32). Therefore, Danticat responds to the criticism by delivering a positive contribution of an immigrant such as self-censorship and silence. She goes ahead and gives a personal description as being anguished by a sense of guilt. Thus, her burden of responsibility and indebtedness becomes a personal pain and dreadful experience. Besides, her escape from her mother country even is a worse experience that brings about survivor guilt. The same concept of personal anecdote in the narration of Diaspora conflict helps in interpreting the novel Make Your Home Among Strangers by Jennine Capo-Crucet. The character Lizet Ramirez applies for “El” and gets a chance to join the new college. However, her family back home in Cuba feels that she is a betrayer and her mother talks in cold anger “Her whole life is gonna be all about her from now on, right, Lizet?” (Crucet 10) After the first school break, Lizet returns home as a Cuban refugee. He finds his mother dead. As a result, the character starts to view her family in a different and dismay. She sees her mother as “tacky-looking woman, a Cuban lady…” (Crucet 10) However, she never liked the sudden change in her ability to see her mother differently. Therefore, the character feels isolated from her history. In a nutshell, even if the generational differences may occur wi

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