Fireweed: Family Members

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Fireweed

Baluta and some of his family members have moved from Liberia. It might be as a result of a war. The country they have moved to is not mentioned in the story, but its an English speaking country. So perhaps somewhere in the United States or Great Britain. Baluta has an accent when he speaks. So he will for example pronounce 'dose and dem' instead of 'those and them'.

However, he speaks and understands English well, which indicates that he has lived there for at least some years. He works as some kind of a craftsman, and he helps people fixing stuff, for an example furniture. He doesn't have very much money. And as reader you get a picture of that fact already in the very beginning of the story. It says how he has to get up from his cot. Suggesting that they cannot afford a bigger or a more modern bed. He lives with his brother and sister-of-law and perhaps some other family members, too. And he shares the bathroom with both of them. He is also the only one in the family who goes to work by car because there is no bus line to where he's going. And he feels very badly about that. Because the rest of the family has to get up very early to take the bus. Also something that could indicate that the family isn't very wealthy.

The story is fairly detailed, and contains few descriptions of the environment. It covers a single day, is written in past tense and proceeds chronologically. But it contains a lot of small flashbacks/memories Baluta has from his life in Liberia. That's all very typical features for a short story. All the memories appear because something in his 'new life' reminds him of something from his 'earlier' life. It begins when he is taking the cold bath in the morning. “Cold like Kpatawee Falls back home, Baluta thought.” And at that instant he knows that the day is going to be a remembering day. The first memories/flashbacks are all very innocent and pleasant childhood memories. But the last flashback seems to be a less pleasant one. In the...
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