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A Wall of Fire Rising

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Matthew Ferianc

on 4 February 2014

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Transcript of A Wall of Fire Rising

A Wall of Fire Rising
Edwidge Danticat
Her first published writing in English became the inspiration for her first novel, Breath, Eyes, Memory. She has also published a collection of short stories, Krik? Krak! , and an additional novel The Farming of the Bones. Her own life experiences have provided background and inspiration for her writing. Danticat's short stories and novels focus on recurring themes such as migration, sexuality, gender and history.
What were other types of symbolism that you saw other than the Balloon?

Symbolism
A reoccurring object in this story was the hot air balloon . Guy had an intensity whenever they were in the field near the balloon, and when his wife asked him about the balloon he always talked about how he could do it if he really wanted. She remarked that she had never seen that look in his eye. The hot air balloon represented his need for freedom. Freedom from the sad poverty stricken world they were a slave to. They were in a system that allowed for no advancement even though he had a family to feed. He was stressed and burdened. So the balloon offered him an out. A chance to live a life he was never allowed to. It represented hope for a better tomorrow. For him the balloon represented a life worth living.
Guy, Lili, and their son, Little Guy, live in a one-room shack. They get excited when Little Guy gets to play a revolutionary at school, and Guy gets extra work cleaning bathrooms at a plantation. Little Guy spends all his time learning lines while Guy dreams of stealing the plantation’s hot air balloon. Lili doesn’t approve, but one day she sees Guy flying the balloon. Guy captures the neighborhood’s attention and jumps out and falls to his death. Though sad about the death of Guy, Lili and Little Guy understand why Guy did what he did and Little Guy recited the lines from his play over his fathers dead body.
Summary
Born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti in 1969. Her parents separately moved to the United States in the next several years, and then Danticat followed them there at the age of 12. Danticat grew up speaking French and Creole and she spoke no English upon moving to the United States. However, after only two years, she began writing in English and now is an accomplished writer of English short stories and novels. Her work has been translated into several languages including Korean, Italian, German, Spanish and Swedish. She currently lives in New York and teaches Creative Writing at New York University.
Questions:
How did your feelings toward Guy change toward the end of the story? How were they the same?
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