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Poetry Analysis - Tourist and Boat People

            The mistreatment of the Haitian people by white-Americans is a central theme in Felix Morriseau-Leroy's Tourist and Boat People. Both poems discuss how one's status in society is determined by race, color, culture and nationality. They show how people are judged and put in a negative light because of due to who they are. People have to deal with struggles due to insecurities of their culture and people degrading them for where they are from. Haitians, and many other nationalities and cultures are degraded for who they are and where they are from. They are belittled by people in better social situations in society and feel ashamed of themselves. Also, the use of terms that are offensive or untrue can damage people. Overall, Morriseau-Leroy touches base on the mistreatment of Haitians in Haiti and in the United States.
             Morriseau-Leroy was known for popularizing the Creole language in his literature. He wrote both poems in a first person point of view, which is only right since he is Haitian himself. The first poem Tourist is written as the thoughts of a Haitian man speaking to a white tourist. In Tourist he writes, "Don't take my picture, tourist, I'm too ugly, Too dirty, Too skinny, don't take my picture, white man." This is a Haitian man talking to a white tourist. Some white man who wants this picture to feel good about himself. There is no other logical reason for him to do so. He is not vacationing in some Haitian village with people refusing pictures because they're skinny and dirty. This man is there on some rescue mission where there is a probability of them giving out clean water and some canned goods and a picture with this poor man would cap it all off. This is damaging to some people. This poor man probably doesn't want help in this place, he wants out of it. Morriseau-Leroy later writes "You don't understand my position, you don't understand anything." This Haitian man is telling this white tourist that he will not understand what is happening.

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