Wednesday, March 16, 2011


At first, while reading Parsley, I thought Dove wanted her readers to be in complete horror of these people dying for such a worthless cause. However, after reading part 2 (The Palace), I didn't necessarily sympathize with the dictator, but more saw part 2 as Dove's way of trying to find an explanation for the massacre that happened in the Dominican Republic. By using different settings and descriptive story-telling, Dove provides a personal "explanation" for why so many people died over the word parsley.

There are two settings in Parsley: the cane fields and the palace. In the cane fields, the reader is horrified by the brutal murders of 20,000 people over not being able to say parsley. This setting, then, makes the reader sympathize with these innocent people, feeling hatred towards the dictator that ordered for this to happen. On the other hand, in the palace, the reader finds out why the dictator decided to take this course of action; the reader almost sympathizes with the dictator, and has a more personal look of the dictator's struggles.

Dove tells a complete story in Parsley: the dictator orders for 20,000 people to be killed because they can't pronounce the "r" in perejil. While this act seems completely random, Dove explains that the dictator is mourning over his mother, and is taking out his rage on these innocent people. So, Dove has essentially two separate stories; the first explaining what happened, the second explaining why it happened. The second story is Dove's "explanation" for the massacre. The explanation is not to be seen as humane, however. The explanation is more for showing the flaws of the dictator and why the massacre in itself was pointless. Killing 20,000 people over mourning for a mother is not justified, and Dove shows this through her description of the evil dictator with unstable emotions. Also, the explanation should not be seen as the real explanation for the massacre. To me, Dove wanted to show these people did not die in vain, and wanted to give some kind of explanation for why they died in the first place.

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