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Fireweed is a short story written by Skye Brannon about a special day in Baluta’s life. Baluta is an uneducated carpenter in U.S.A, and lives with his brother Jato and the brother’s wife Sama. Baluta has had a rough background, he was witness to his father and sisters death, and had to flee to America, from Libya from war and hate.

Main Theme

There are several themes in the story, such as, culture difference, racism and poverty, but all these, are sub-themes. The overall main theme of this short story must be to cherish the present, and take nothing for granted. The fact that Baluta saw his dad getting killed and his sister raped and killed, is a view into an absurd world of violence and hate, described without many feelings. “He saw his father, swinging from a tree, on a rope”[1], and “He saw little Alonso’s ten-year old body, limp, naked in the sun, being passed from one soldier to another, his pants mingling with the dust.”[2] This is a matter of course that he will never take anything for granted, because he has learned that he will never know when it’s going to stop. A more positive sign on the main them, of this short story, is that he is actually having a better life now, in America. And he won’t take that for granted even though, there are a lot of other people with much better conditions, like Tiffany.

The way the story is structured

Fireweed is written with a third person narrator who is omniscient. All the actions are seen from Baluta’s point of view. “Cold like Kpatawee Falls back home, Baluta thought. Yes, today would be a remembering day” page 9, line 9. In this quote it’s clear that the narrator is omniscient since he knows what Baluta thinks. The story is told in the past tense, except for the quotes which are in present.

The short story is simple to read, because of the uncomplicated language that is being used. It also makes...
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