Dany Laferriere as the Hero of His Story A Drifting Year

There are many stories I’ve read in the past by many authors who portray themselves as heroes, but in my opinion the one I found most interesting and striking is the story a drifting fl written by Dany Laferriere. After thoroughly reading this story I came up with an interpretive question that analyzes what this particular story is about and that is in what ways does Dany Laferriere cast himself as a hero in the story A Drifting Year and to what extent? This story portrays the transition from another country into a city in another country and certain emotions arise due to this.

I think Dany Laferriere casts himself as a hero in many ways throughout the story and to a large extent. One example that shows qualities of Laferriere being cast as a hero is on page 13 in lines 6-18 as they state “I’m Black and everyone else is White. Imagine the shock! I’m not a tourist passing through who’s come to see how the world works here, how other people are doing and what they‘re up to on this planet, I‘m here to stay, whether I like it or not.

Based on this the author feels like he’s different from everyone else and he‘s the only one of his race to be living in a place where there are mostly whites. However, the author doesn’t let that scare him as he says I’m not a tourist who‘ll go back I’m here to stay no matter what and he’s really assertive about that.

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The following two examples that depict the author’s heroicness are on pages 14 and 15 in lines 7-10 and 1020 as it states “A country where a cat has to learn how to bark if it wants to survive” and “The duckling comes back by the lake in search of its mother. It was intrigued by its reflection in the water its sadness lasted but a moment I smile when I realize that no one knows where I am at this very moment. I have no friends yet, no permanent address. My life is in my hands.” Based on this information Laferriere Is missing his home country in Haiti as he describes it as the search for its mother but that was only a temporary sadness and the author started smiling with positivity with hope in a new area.

Also, the author states that his life is in his own hands and that he will learn and do whatever it takes to survive. As the author continues his journey in an area that’s completely new to him and much for him to explore, an example on page 21 that depicts the qualities of the author as a hero is in lines 8-13 as they state “I don’t dare think of my life before. My life two or three weeks ago. I have to survive, Three things are important now: learning, eating, sleeping. Sleeping is the most precious.” Based on this information Laferriere was planning about thinking about his life before he moved to montreal, but that thought stopped immediately after he realized that it‘s not about the past it’s about the present and future. His main goal is to survive and he knows exactly what he has and should be doing then, on page 25 lines 12-27 also cast Laferriere as a hero as it states “The guy looking after my file told me that ifl was willing to declare I was an exile, he could give me sixty dollars instead of the usual twenty he hands out to ordinary immigrants.

I wasn’t an exile; l fled before they could kill me. That’s different, He smiled and gave me an envelope. When I opened it in the street, I found one hundred and twenty dollars. Why had I refused to lie about my status? I know why. I didn’t want to start saying I’d been tortured when I never had been. Once you start lying, you can‘t stop. You end up with a life full of little lies, afraid of getting caught. In Haiti, people lie to survive, And now we have to lie here too. Lying, for me, is the act of an inferior person and I place no one above me; I know no one worthy of that position” According to this there was corruption going on and the file handler was subjecting Laferriere in a situation to lie in order to get more money as compared to ordinary immigrants. Out of all the immigrants he was getting treated specially and even then, the author refused to lie for money and decided to stay with the truth.

What the author says in this particular quote can also apply to scenarios in real life because once you start lying it becomes a habit and it takes many lies to hide one truth. The important thing to note here is that the author mentions people have to lie back in his home country to as well as over here to survive and with that saying Laferriere still prefers the path of honesty and doing things the right way. As the author moves around to find places to live he came across one room and casted himself as a hero as lines 1-11 on page 28 stated “I can’t wait to get home to that filthy room with a pile of dirty dishes in the sink, cockroaches everywhere and the heavy smell of beer, I can’t wait to lie down on that bare mattress my arms crossed thinking that this is the spot I occupy in the galaxy” Based on this information the author has to take in the smell and all the unpleasant things in the room but he does it with happiness and calls it a home that he can come to after a long day’s work. That’s his reserved space as he calls it his spot of galaxy being a new person to stay where Laferriere was staying, he shows bravery in lines 7-11 on page 33 as it states ”Around five o’clock in the morning, I couldn’t take it anymore; I went and knocked on the guy’s door.

He opened up, I told him, “Tell her something, anything, sol can sleep, or I’m going to burn this building down.“ The author felt uncomfortable by his next-door neighbors’ and he mustered up his courage and had guts to go tell them to quiet down or else they’ll see the worst of him, an act of no fear and an act of stepping up and raising his voice against something he didn’t like. Next, on page 37 lines 1-24 from stanzas one through four cast hero like qualities for the author as it states “When I don’t know what to do, I buy a ticket and spend in the day in the subway reading facest Along time ago, I read a Cortazar story about how a certain percentage of people live their lives in the subway and never come up. People don‘t seem to realize there’s a new prince in this city, even if I’m only a burn for the time being, I’m sitting on a bench in this park full of flowers in the Italian neighborhood I watch the girls go by. The only luxury I can afford” Based on this information the author manages to pass the day and survive doing something and even though he‘s relatively new in the city he wants to be recognized and wants to get attention.

Even without ajob Laferriere was still managing to survive and provide basic needs for himself, however, when he found a job through his landlord he was considered a hero in the eyes of the landlord’s daughter as lines 9-12 on page 38 and lines 16-22 on page 39 asserts “Antonio found me this job in his cousin’s factory. He treats me like his son while I’m sleeping with his daughter” and ”Antonio wants Marcelo for Maria But she wants to go with me, I explained to Maria that she couldn’t use me to fight her father, I‘m a free agent.” Based on this the landlord was giving the author special treatment and finds him a job because he knew that he had the capacity and will power to do it.

Also, Antonio finds another boy for Maria but Maria is very attracted and goes closely to the author proving that’s he’s a gem even though he might not be all that famous.  This is how the story A Drifting Year raises this interpretive question of to what extent does Laferriere cast himself as a hero in A Drifting Year? This question was both interesting and striking at the same time because this story describes the transition of the author from his home country of Port-au—Prince to the city of Montreal and the struggles the author had to face just to get adapted and accustomed to in the new city. However, even though the author had to put up with the struggles he just kept on fighting through them and casted himself in many ways as a hero.

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Dany Laferriere as the Hero of His Story A Drifting Year. (2023, Feb 22). Retrieved from https://paperap.com/dany-laferriere-as-the-hero-of-his-story-a-drifting-year/

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