Freedom Balloon In Edwidge Danticat's A Wall Of Fire Rising

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Freedom Balloon: The Ultimate Flight “A Wall of Fire Rising” by Edwidge Danticat is the story of a proud Haitian man named Guy, on his own personal journey to attain the freedom which he so desires from control, oppression, and personal failures. This passage is one of great trial and carried with it much mental strain and anguish on the main character. He struggles within to overcome his inner demons and reach a place of peace, that being death. This story contains many examples of symbolism, but the hot air balloon is the primary one, and is witnessed on many occasions throughout the story. The balloon symbolizes the escape and freedom that Guy so desires. The concept of freedom has a variety meanings and can be recognized in numerous fashions …show more content…
Guy, his wife Lili, and their son Little Guy reside in a “one-room home” (Danticat 226), in the “shantytown” (Danticat 230) section of Haiti. This is the poor and very low-income area. This situation stemmed from the reduced amount of steady work, making it hard for one to provide for their family. This reality is very difficult for Guy to deal with, and it acts as a huge weight on his shoulders. Many days go by with Guy unable to find work, resulting in the lack of food for meals. On these occasions, the family is reduced to making what Lil calls “sweet water tea” from sugar cane pulp, and “a pinch of salt under the tongue to suppress there need to eat (Danticat 229). There is a nightly ritual within the community to gather around “a large television screen in an iron grill cage” (Danticat 230), to view the news. This viewing is under the supervision of the local law enforcement, and is only “state-sponsored news” (Danticat 230), a symbol of the control and oppression which tore at Guy. Guy and Lili are extremely loving and compassionate parents. It is love that drives them to disregard this ritual, and continue past to a field near the sugar mill. Here they spend time as a family, avoiding any exposure of their young naïve son to this measure of control. They would do anything for the protection and betterment of their only

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