Themes and message

Journey from innocence to experience

The events in the story “Aline’s Journey” by Edwidge Danticat bring about a “coming of age” for the main character, outlining her growth and maturity as she is forced to deal with extraordinary circumstances. Aline’s development is hinted at even from the title, highlighting the idea that everything that happens in the story makes up Aline’s symbolic journey to maturity. One of the main themes in “Aline’s Journey” is, therefore, the transition from innocence to maturity.

At the beginning, Aline appears to be excited about the journey to America and hopeful for the future, as she chooses her favorite blue dress to wear on the boat. The only thing she appears to regret at that time is not being able to say goodbye to her friends. However, the journey by boat is unpleasant from the very beginning: Aline suffers from thirst, then seasickness, and finally exhaustion after she has to wade through water to get to shore. These hardships can be symbolically interpreted as ...

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