"Fireweed" - Sky Brannon

Topics: Family, Time, Present Pages: 3 (1003 words) Published: April 15, 2013
My problem is bigger than yours
The short story ”Fireweed” is written by Sky Brannon in 2009. The story is about Baluta, who is working as a carpenter. It’s the remembering day for the loss of his sister. Baluta is working for a lady named Tiffany. Throughout the day he is continuing to think about his sister, but at the time Tiffany mentions the word “fireweed”, he starts thinking about the murder of his father and grandmother. He doesn’t want to think of that day.

The story is told in a third person, where we as readers get an insight in some of Baluta’s feelings and how he sees other people. It’s an all-knowing narrator, because we aren’t really inside Baluta’s head, but we know how he feels anyway. The story is told in past tense and has two parallel stories running side by side. The flashbacks are about his life in Liberia and the present story is about his new life in America. There is a flashback every time something he sees on his way or something there is talked about is reminding him on something that happened in Liberia. In the present time we hear about him working at a cabinet in Tiffany’s house. But in the meantime we also hear about his childhood and his sister. In the last flashback he is thinking about the murder of his father, sister and his grandmother. The flashbacks are also told in a third person and is written is a past tense like the rest of the story.

Baluta is a young Liberian man, who is living in America. Baluta is currently living with his brother and sister-in-law. His brother, Jato, says that Baluta needs to change his Liberian name, and come up with a more American name. Baluta is calling himself Joel, when he is working. Baluta is working as a carpenter, so he needs a car to get to work. He doesn’t have the money for a car, so he is using his brother’s car. “Baluta felt awful for this, but he had to work to get a car, and needed a car to get to work”. Baluta thinks it’s sweet of them to loan him their car, but he also...
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