Group Title: Haitian Studies Course Materials for HAI 3564
Title: Masters of the Dew
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 Material Information
Title: Masters of the Dew
Physical Description: Archival
Language: Haitian Creole (Kréole; Kreyòl ayisyen)
Creator: Hebblethwaite, Benjamin
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Bibliographic ID: UF00098960
Volume ID: VID00005
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.


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Masters of the Dew Introduction

Haitian peasant culture
Haitian communist party
1934, Vincent > prison... exile...
Repatriation under Lescot, 1941
Campagne anti-superstitieuse
Social consciousness
Sociological novel
The indigenous intellectual movement
Political fable
The Haitian peasantry in its international
Symbolic realism The dew & water, the
realistic description of peasant life

Masters of the Dew, Jacques Roumain, 1944

Quiz 1: Introduction and chapter 1 & 2 plus Vodou [2 pts each]

1. Roumain was not interested in Haitian peasant culture.
(a) True (b) False
2. Roumain did found the Haitian communist party.
(a) True (b) False
3. Roumain went to prison for 3 years in Haiti for his ideas.
(a) True (b) False
4. Which president allowed the return of Roumain?
(a) Lescot (b) Vincent (c) Magloire
5. Roumain supported the anti-Vodou champagnee anti-superstitieuse."
(a) True (b) False
6. Roumain was interested in social consciousness.
(a) True (b) False
7. Roumain's book is not a sociological novel.
(a) True (b) False
8. Who was a major figure in the indigenous intellectual movement
(a) Jean Price-Mars (b) Charlemagne P6ralte (c) Langston Hughes
9. Masters of the Dew is a political fable
(a) True (b) False
10. What is a coumbite [konbit] all about?
(a) chain gang (b) collective farming (c) mandatory collective work
11. Manuel had been cutting sugar cane in
(a) the Dominican Republic (b) Puerto Rico (c) Cuba
12. What is a universal poetic symbol in this book?
(a) Mud (b) Sexuality (c) Water
13. Manuel's mother:
(a) Marie (b) Dl6ira (c) Suzanne
14. Toussaint Louverture and Jean-Jacques Dessalines were troubled by Vodou
(a) True (b) False
15. How is Vodou tradition maintained over generations?
(a) Written tradition (b) Oral tradition (c) Combination of both
16. Oungan
(a) Woman (b) Man (c) Spirit
17. Manbo
(a) Woman (b) Man (c) Spirit
18. Are the Iwa perfect?
(a) Yes (b) No
19. A Vodou secret society:
(a) Lougawou (b) ChanpwNl (b) Zonbi
20. Someone possessed by a Vodou Iwa:
(a) a goat (b) a cat (c) a horse

Benjamin Hebblethwaite

14. Roumain sees Vodou as
(a) local color in his art (b) a narcotic for the masses(c) the ultimate

Masters of the Dew, Jacques Roumain (1946)
Questions for discussion on Chapters 2 & 3

1. What evidence is there for an ecological crisis in
this book?
2. Describe Manuel's encounter with the young
woman on the road home.
How do they part ways?
3. Describe the homes the characters live in.
4. What tools are used for food preparation?
5. What do we learn about Manuel's experience in
What kind of agriculture is practiced in Cuba?
Who is mister Wilson?
What kind of activities was Manuel involved
in? What violent act did he engage in?
6. What evidence of syncretism can be found in the
7. What is Manuel talking about when he brings up
"black angels" and "white angels"?
8. What do we learn about the male's obligation in
getting married? (Antoine)
9. What rural leisure activities are discussed?
10. Who is Bienaime? Anna'ise?
11. Who were the cacos?
12. What is the root problem in this village?

Masters of the Dew, Chapters 4-5

Provide details:
Papa Legba

Asson [ason]
4 cardinal directions


[Loa of metalwork, blood & war
[Opens the way; gate keeper; elderly,
hunched over, uses a cane

[rattle with snake vertebrae around it
[Symbol that directs arrival of loa
[Vodou priest points N-S-E-W
[living confluence of supernatural force;

1.What Vodou musical instruments are featured?
2.What are some of the roles of Vodouists?

3.What do Vodouists do?
4.Describe a Vodou danse or rhythm:

5.Where does Vodou come from?
6.What do Manuel and Dl6ira do at the ceremony?
Explain: "Dancing and drinking anesthetized
them swept away their shipwrecked souls to
drown those regions of unreality and danger
where the fierce forces of the African gods
lay in wait"
7.What work does Manuel do in the courtyard?
8.What government corruption is described?
9.What laws persecuted the poor peasant in
Roumain's day
10.How does Manuel rise in this chapter?
11.What is Manuel's mystique?
12.Describe Manuel & Anna's meeting

Drums, bells, gons
Flag-carrier; "La Place"
= organizer

bent knees, arms spread

Hat maker
Market inspector stealing
No shoes law

"Chef'; Hilarion

Masters of the Dew, chapters 6-7

1.Describe Anna and Manuel's meeting.
2.What do we learn about Anna?
3.How does Anna see Manuel?
4.How does Anna see herself? [
5.How does Manuel see Vodou? [
6.How does Anna see Vodou? [
7.Why did Manuel dance at the Vodou
8.How does Manuel want to change Fonds-Rouge?
9.If he succeeds, what will Fonds-Rouge need?
10.What are some key notions in Manuel's [
'political science' ?
11 .How does Manuel see Anna in his scheme?
12.How does this reveal gender roles?
13.Who is Gervilen?
14.How is he described? What kind of person is
he? And in literary terms, what's his role/function? [
15.Why is Gervilen so concerned about Anna?
16.What does Gervilen promise at the end of the [
chapter? Why does he promise that?



Masters of the Dew, Jacques Roumain

Quiz I on chapters 6-7

1. What does Manuel want to bring to Fonds-Rouge?
(a) wealth (b) trees (c) water (d) foreign investment
2. In Cuba Manuel learned about the huelga. What is that in English?
(a) labor contract (b) strike (c) layoff (d) worker revolt
3. Manuel views women as essential to his plan.
(a) True (b) False
4. Manuel does not really want to reconcile Fonds-Rouge.
(a) True (b) False
5. Anna'ise [Anna] calls Manuel "my master."
(a) True (b) False
6. What metaphor does Roumain use to characterize Gervilen?
(a) shadow (b) light (c) blood (d) water
7. In chapter 7 Gervilen reveals his problem with:
(a) drugs (b) petty crime (c) alcohol
8. Gervilen threatens to harm Manuel.
(a) True (b) False
9. Gervilen wants to marry Anna'ise [Anna].
(a) True (b) False

10. Anna'ise carefully explained to Rosanna why she was late coming home.
(a) True (b) False

Masters of the Dew: chapters 8 & 9 questions for discussion.

1. Describe the food problems in Fonds-Rouge and in Manuel's
What are people doing to overcome the drought? (The
Simidor's news)
2. Why is the name "Bienaim6" (e.g. "Well-Loved") ironic?
3. What kind of woman does Delira want for her son?
4. What is Manuel keep secret from his mother?
5. What is youthful about Manuel's mother? ("...a bird's song in
an old nest...")
6. How does the narrator view alcohol?
7. What does it take to suddenly get rich according to
8. How does Manuel get on the track of the water?

4. "negresse s6rieuse et travailleuse"
7. "des compromissions avec le diable"

1. Explain Manuel's statement: "it's work that he accomplished
and that's what brings existence to life across the centuries:
the usefulness of man [and woman] on this earth".
2. Describe the link between nature and sexuality in this
3. Why does Anna say she'll be at "Manuel's service..." and
that "I'll be the servant of your desires".
4. The sex-scene is described in what terms?

4. "vague fievreuse", "une angoisse indicible naissait en elle, un
d6lice terrible qui prenait le movement de sa chair" ... "ce long
sanglot qui la laissa an6antie dans l'6treinte de l'homme"

Master of the Dew, Chapter 10 questions for discussion:

1. What happened to Dorisca and Sauveur?
2. Manuel does want to reconcile Fonds-Rouge?
3. Bienaimr also wants to reconcile Fonds-Rouge?
4. Who said this "The right that you found it! [...] The right that our
enemies haven't got any rights!"
5. What is Roumain's deeper message about Haiti and development?
6. Describe Gervilen? How is his represented?
7. What kind of foreshadowing does Roumain give us about Gervilen?
8. What kind of letter is going to Rosanna? Is Manuel going to write it?
9. What are some of the settings or locations described in this chapter?
10.What is a simidor [simid6]
11.Interpret: " spite of poverty and disease, they are shooting up fast
like bad weeds. (It's hard to kill a Negro off. He's tough like nobody's
12.How would you describe the structure of this book?
13.What kind or genre of novel would we classify this as?

Masters of the Dew, chapter 11 questions for discussion

1. What is the major objective of Manuel in this section?
2. What kind of arguments does Manuel come up with?
3. Explain: "...a mass sung... for both Dorisca and Sauveur... that would
reconcile them in the grave... restless dead folks are troublesome,
they're even dangerous..." (131)
4. Explain: "Cia, his wife, down with a fever... which no medicine had
been able to check. Dorm6us claimed that an evildoer had cast a spell
on her, so he as asking a large sum of money to ride her of it. The
greedy dog!"
5. Explain: "You, Gervilen, from the dead Dorisca you've inherited
blood that's too hot"
6. Explain: "Brothers!...They're trying to buy you. They're trying to
trade your honor for a little water."

Masters of the Dew, Questions for chapter 12

1. What is happening to Gervilen?
2. What kind of plan is Hilarion concocting?
3. What kind of work does Manuel do at home?
4. Who does Dl6ira meet at Mahotiere? What kind of interaction do they
5. Explain: "These days, that isn't easy to find, no. There are too many
of these young girls who've lost their respect for the ways of our
ancestors. The city has turned their heads... They'd rather go work as
cooks for some rich mulattoes." What does this refer to more broadly?
6. What evidence of syncretism do we find in this chapter?
7. What bold move does Manuel make in this chapter?
8. Interpret: "Manuel brushed Gervilen from his thoughts as one waves
away a mosquito."
9. How does this chapter end?

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