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Edwidge Dadicant’s Depiction of the Struggles of Poverty in a Family as Illustrated in His Book, A Wall of Fire Rising
In the story “Wall of Fire Rising,” Edwidge Danticat tells the story of the endeavors a poor family living in Haiti need to go by means of to make ends meet. Due to the story getting told in third person, the reader gets an outside view of each and every characters life. The father, Guy, struggles to discover a steady job to supply for his wife, Lili, and his son, Little Guy. When he lastly gets a job at the sugar mill, his pre-established fascination of flying the sugar mill’s hot air balloon increases. Towards the finish of the story, he ultimately fulfills his dream of flying the hot air balloon, while also taking his personal life. By means of actions and dialogue between the characters, the author foreshadows Guy’s death, which the reader might interpret as an act of freedom for himself or an act of abandonment towards his household. In the story, even though in third particular person, the audience can see Lili’s viewpoint of Guy’s predicament. Because she focuses most of her time with their son, Lili and Guy are not able to get considerably alone time, which could attribute to Guy’s feelings of neglect. This is exemplified when Lili says, “I wish I had paid a lot more interest when you came in with the news”(152). This is a sign of how she feels guilty for neglecting her personal husband. Danticat makes use of the literary device of foreshadowing in the story by sharing Lili’s superstitions that are frequent in the Haitian culture. For instance, he states, “She almost didn’t marry him because it was said that individuals with angular hairlines often have really troubled lives” (152). By utilizing this method of foreshadowing, he is able to hint at Guy’s troubled life. Lili may not have wanted to think this superstition at 1st, but in the end, she wouldn’t have been capable to predict just how troubled he actually was. The 1st sign of her noticing Guy’s troubles was when he was acting distant as they went to the Sugar mill: “For the last handful of weeks, she had been feeling as though Guy was lost to her every time he reached this point, twelve feet away from the balloon” (151). She requires notice of his interest towards the balloon and feels as if she’s losing him. She knows that the balloon is drawing him in but she doesn’t find out till later the purpose why. At the end of the story, she did not seem as shocked as her son when Guy jumped out of the balloon. She could have foreseen this coming through his actions and dialogue. Danticat uses the literary tool of foreshadowing by describing how Guy’s actions correlate with his interest towards the hot air balloon. In the beginning of the story, Guy’s fascination with the balloon is introduced: “During the day, when the field was open, Guy would stroll up to the basket, staring at it with the very same sort of longing that most men show when they admire really pretty girls “(151). This quote initially shows that he takes a specific interest with the basket. He sees it with an alternative motive in thoughts that the reader desires to discover out. He even disregards his own loved ones anytime he is there at the sugar mill. This neglect can be exemplified via the quote, “As they approached the fence surrounding the field where the big wicker basket and deflated balloon rested on the ground, Guy let go of the hands of each his wife and the boy” (151). Guy shows this act of disengagement towards his own family members due to this odd fascination he carries for the balloon. The reader could interpret this as him being a lot more interested in whatever opportunities the balloon carry symbolically compared to that of his own household. By way of Guy’s dialogue concerning the balloon, the reader gets a sense of his longing for freedom. His selection of diction, particularly even though conversing with his wife, leads the reader to think that he isn’t completely satisfied with his life, but does see an chance for modify. While speaking to Lili, he mentions, “I was born in the shadow of that sugar mill… If any individual deserves to function there, I should” (152). It is apparent that Guy sees himself as deserving for a job at the sugar mill. However, by reading between the lines, it can be interpreted by the reader that this job chance is observed to be his route to freedom. As the story progresses, Lili and Guy have an in depth conversation about Guy’s potential to fly the balloon. When Lili inquiries Guy’s intentions, he responds “Can’t you see your self up there? Up in the clouds someplace like some type of bird”(153). Even though asking his wife this query, the reader can practically hear his voice light up talking about this dream of his. He plans on going someplace else as an escape from his life in poverty. Later on in the story, Lili finds her husband sitting behind the sugar mill. As their son runs around them playing, he suddenly becomes the subject of conversation. Guy mentions, “You’re really great with that boy…You will make a performer of him. I know you will.” (154). When he says this, it appears as if Lili is the only 1 taking care of him due to the fact he does not mention any indication of himself. The way he words that quote makes the audience query exactly where he will be in the course of his son’s life. This reveals that his notion of freedom is not only an escape from poverty, but possibly his loved ones as effectively. In the story, “Wall of Fire Rising”, Edwidge Danticat utilizes the element of foreshadowing by means of dialogue and actions of Guy and Lili in the story. Also, by writing in third particular person, the reader is able to get an outdoors viewpoint of each character’s viewpoint. This enables the reader to gather info from every character to analyze Guy’s cause behind his suicide, which can be interpreted as an act of freedom for himself or an act of abandonment towards his household.
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