Fireweed

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Fireweed.

The short story “Fireweed” is written by Skye Brannon, it is a story about a young man named Baluta. He emigrated from West Africa to US, with his brother Jato and his sitster in law Sama. The story is about how an ordinary workday can trigger memories from the past. In the beginning his memories are filled with happiness, because it is about his family back in Liberia. But as the story evolves, his memories, which he desperately ties to forget presents them selves.

The main character, Baluta immigrated to US about 1980-1990’s because of the civil war in Liberia. In the short story it is written that“ The war will be coming our way soon. It was the first time Baluta saw fear behind his father’s strong eyes”. This may be the reason why Baluta left Africa and immigrated to US. Baluta and jota is not very articulate. And their problem with the English language is portrayed by the author substituting a normal English vocabulary and choose to write sentences frenetically, for instance “ Dese Americans, Joto said, if you tell demy out Mandika name, dey look like you have given dem a riddle…”

Though the characters may have some problems with the language, it is not said directly that they are stupid. Furthermore is seems that Baluta is a very thoughtful young man, who pays attention to the people around him. He is keen to make the people around him feel good in his company, and he finds it sad when he is incapable of making life easier for others. He feels very sad that he need to use the car, to get to work, because then his family have to get up early to cheat the buss to work. And another example is that he makes sure that the people he works with doesn’t have any problems pronouncing his name and therefore chooses to take the name Joel. He is very kind to other people, even though he had a very hard childhood in Liberia. He was an eyewitness to the murder of his family and unfortunately the memory of this still haunts him. His bad childhood,...
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