Joseph from “Breath, Eyes, Memory” by Edwidge Danticat

In my fantasy dream world, this Joseph would play that Joseph.

There’s only one male character in this book who isn’t a rapist, so I thought I’d focus on him. Dudes are pretty much on the back-burner in this whole novel. It’s a really beautiful, poetic story about a woman coming into her own. Naturally, I’m going to dissect it.

About Joseph

  • American
  • white
  • goes from “hi” to “let’s get married” pretty damn fast
  • in a band, travels a lot
  • not a rapist
  • Not being a rapist is a really important quality in a man.

His problem?

  • he’s married to a girl who has a lot of sex issues
  • and identity issues
  • because her mom used to stick her fingers in her no-no places
  • to make sure she still had a hymen
  • so she sodomized herself with a cooking utensil
  • and ran away from home
  • to be with Joseph
  • but then she ran away from Joseph to Haiti
  • so that she wouldn’t need to deal with her sex issues?
  • I mean, that’s basically his problem.
  • Oh yeah, and he doesn’t have a real job.

A lot of these folks would have benefited from some self-love and sex ed.

Sexxi Points

  • very understanding
  • and caring
  • and a musician
  • not racist
  • not a rapist
  • these things are very important
  • very
  • very
  • important

Boner-Killers

  • travels a lot because he’s a musician
  • got his girl pregnant the first time they had sex
  • like, she didn’t even have a chance to get over all her sex issues
  • it was like, boom, pregnant
  • and I kind of hate him for that
  • like really, you couldn’t pull out or use a condom for at least a little bit?
  • or maybe just do oral for the first couple of months?
  • Just like, “oh, your mom tortured you and you ran away from home to be with me, let me just
  • put a baby in you ASAP.”
  • Ew, Joseph. Ew.

The Verdict?

Your penis must have some kind of crazy GPS navigation to the unfertilized eggs. I’m not interested in that. I also don’t want to run away from home and then completely depend on you and have you impregnate me. Everything about this sounds awful. You still get points for not being a rapist or a racist, so I’ll come listen to your band at Rockwood or something. Rating: BONER-KILLER.

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