Please wait while we process your payment
If you don't see it, please check your spam folder. Sometimes it can end up there.
Don’t have an account?
Create Your Account
Sign up for your FREE 7-day trial
Already have an account? Log in
Choose Your Plan
$4.99/month + tax
$24.99/year + tax
Save over 50% with a SparkNotes PLUS Annual Plan!
for a group?
Get Annual Plans at a discount when you buy 2 or more!
$18.74 /subscription + tax
Subtotal $37.48 + tax
on 2-49 accounts
on 50-99 accounts
Want 100 or more?
for a customized plan.
You'll be billed after your free trial ends.
7-Day Free Trial
Renews December 13, 2023
December 6, 2023
Discounts (applied to next billing)
This is not a valid promo code.
(one code per order)
Annual Plan - Group Discount
SparkNotes Plus subscription is $4.99/month or $24.99/year as selected above. The free trial period is the first 7 days of your subscription. TO CANCEL YOUR SUBSCRIPTION AND AVOID BEING CHARGED, YOU MUST CANCEL BEFORE THE END OF THE FREE TRIAL PERIOD. You may cancel your subscription on your Subscription and Billing page or contact Customer Support at email@example.com. Your subscription will continue automatically once the free trial period is over. Free trial is available to new customers only.
For the next 7 days, you'll have access to awesome PLUS stuff like AP English test prep, No Fear Shakespeare translations and audio, a note-taking tool, personalized dashboard, & much more!
You’ve successfully purchased a group discount. Your group members can use the joining link below to redeem their group membership. You'll also receive an email with the link.
Members will be prompted to log in or create an account to redeem their group membership.
Thanks for creating a SparkNotes account! Continue to start your free trial.
Your PLUS subscription has expired
The novel's protagonist and narrator, Sophie is a liminal creature whose search for resolution drives the narrative. The book opens as she leaves Haiti for New York on the threshold of adolescence, suspended between childhood and womanhood and between her aunt's and mother's worlds. As the novel progresses, her simultaneous roles as daughter and mother, girl and woman, child of rape and savior from nightmares, Creole- and English-speaker, immigrant and exile, daughter and wife play out as infinite variations of a difficult cohabitation. By the time of her testing, this continual disjunction has given way to a conscious power of doubling, as Sophie distracts her mind from the experiences of her body. It is not until her return to Dame Marie in the novel's third section that Sophie will begin to undo this work of splitting and simultaneity, to fit the pieces of herself into a coherent whole.
Sophie's narrative style suggests the unfinished nature of her project. She describes herself objectively, often with the distance of a third person. She narrates simply, presenting events without explanations, refusing to speak from a vantage point of perfect knowledge. Sophie has access to many vocabularies of introspection, from psychoanalysis to folk wisdom, and her wide use of them reflects an attempt to use all she knows against life's complexity. She leaves narrative gaps of months or years, imposing structure on her story through calculated omission. At the same time, her objectivity acknowledges the difficulty of faithfully narrating or communicating pain. Just as Sophie stands outside her mother's nightmares even as she lives their pain, so the reader is aware both of the humanity and of the privacy of Sophie's struggle. Her narrative is a testament, a record, and a script, but it is not a confessional. Sophie appears alternately as hopeful, desperate, kind, loving, hurt, lost, self-conscious, confident, confused, angry, and free. Yet she never reveals herself entirely, choosing at times to retreat behind an objective, opaque curtain of narrative. Just as parables do not explain, but instead embody the truth, Sophie's story stands alone as a witness to her womanhood and to her reconciliation.
Ace your assignments with our guide to Breath, Eyes, Memory!