Now I am in no ways an artist and would never try and take a chance on a project. This time I decided to push myself out of my comfort zone and try to depict the entirety of The Dew Breaker and its intertwining storylines through drawing. Although I have never thought of myself as creatively inclined I will say that I am very proud of the work I did and the small meanings I put into each piece of the web.
I decided to draw a spiderweb and have each panel represent a chapter from the book so that you, the viewer, can see the seperate stories while still understanding how each of their lives touch each other. Now the spider that is hanging from the web represents Papa as the “web-spinner” of these peoples lives. He affected them in ways they don’t know. Now there are ten panels in the drawing and only nine chapters so I wrote the words of my favorite quote from the book “There was no way to escape this dread anymore, this pendulum between regret and forgiveness…” I thought this quote was very haunting in a way and summed up the feeling of the book perfectly.
In the fist panel is the chapter Seven. I drew the wife sitting by the window looking out at the city skyline, depressed, and listening to the radio alone. I made the silhouette and body of her fully black to emphasis the loneliness she is feeling especially since her husband is always away and she is in an entire new world. The second panel is depicting the chapter Water Child. I tried to show the scene where she looks at herself in the elevator and sees a life she could have had with a man she has lost. I drew this half and half version on her to show her loss of identity and personhood after the heartbreak, abortion, and the disappointment of her parents.
Following these, panel three is chapter The Book of Miracles. In this panel a church scene is present and a wanted note posted to a cross. The stark colors in this panel are supposed to show the fear that Anne felt when finding the wanted sign. She could see the erasure of the family she built from nothing. The Night Talkers panel shows the scene where Dany goes to extract revenge against the man he believes to have killed his parents, but something stops him. I find this part very interesting because even with all the anger from watching his parents die, his humanity took over and stopped him. He so easily could have gotten revenge for himself, but also for all the people who’s lives Papa has destroyed or ended. The Bridal Seamstress is the next panel and shows a bride walking down the aisle but dragging blood behind her coming from her feet. Beatrice told her story about when she was taken and whipped at the bottom of her feet and how that man still follows her. Its like she is leading him with the blood he drew that now forms tracks for him to follow.
If you keep going around you can see the stories from the chapters Monkey Tails and The Funeral Singer. In the Monkey Tails panel he has hung himself in replace of being taken by the government. You can see the struggle between life and power which is also a theme in everyones stories. In the next one the girl is singing for a funeral on one side and is drowning out the cry for help on the other side. The cry is coming from Rezia yelling for help when being assaulted. Crimes like assault especially against women gets covered up or drowned out. For the finale chapter I drew the cover of the book to bring together these peoples stories into one which is what Danticat did. Finally, I drew a story book with the first chapters title written across it, The Book of Ka. I did this to represent the story of her life only being a fraction in the greater scheme of things.