Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Like Father, Like Daughter

When I was reading the end of the book, I was struck by the fact that Deck Lee was so into his own world that he couldn't take even a moment to find out what had happened to Birdie when he was Brazil. He was just so conceded on his own studies and his book that was about to be complete that he didn't realize how much she had changed.
I felt bad for Birdie because he rationalized himself not coming to find Birdie and Sandy because it was would be "a project." You would think that he would have at least made some sort of attempt to find out if they were still alive and just try to pass a message to them.

I was also quite stricken with the chart “canary in a coal mine." Who would put their children in a chart that showed the history of mulattos and how "desolate or violent" their deaths were? That puts them as a scientific object instead of real people. It also was odd how he mentioned that one of the female girls didn't have a birth certificate so they didn’t know how old she was when she died. Then under the picture of Birdie and Cole, he puts the years that they were born.
It was like he was trying to foreshadow that they would die in a violent way, or that they would be the small step to a bright future.

It saddened me to watch how he would pick his book over his family. That he truly didn't care and waited until the end of their conversation to ask how Sandy was.


Kels said...

I TOTALLY AGREE! if i hadn't seen my dad in over five years i would be really upset if all he could say was that he was pre-occupied with his book so he couldn't find me. I felt so bad for Birdie especially because she had gone through so much to find them. Great Post :)

Gena R. said...

I was also frustrated with Deck's reaction, thinking, "Come on, you haven't seen her for six years, at least pretend to be shocked and emotional." The canary in the coal mine thing seemed at ends with a statement Deck made before he shared his study: "race is an illusion." I wonder how he justified using the people in his study of the history of mulattos. Did he think he could study them because they were perceived by the general population and possibly themselves as mulattos? What if the people identified themselves in a different way?