Intro to Literature
Reader Response #8
“A Wall of Fire Rising” by Edwidge Danticat
There are two people in this world: those who can deal with life’s challenges and those who cannot. “A Wall of Fire Rising” by Edwidge Danticat recognizes this predicament in the shantytowns of Haiti in 1991. Freedom has a different meaning for everybody and can be attained in different ways. As referenced by Guy, the hot air balloon is the key to freedom. Guy and his wife, Lili, have different perspectives on freedom and what life should be.
Lili loves her husband Guy, but is not too fond of his negative comments and views towards people. Before marrying Guy, Lili was skeptical since he had an angular hairline. “It was said that people with angular hairlines often have very troubled lives” (238). Guy and Lili’s son, Little Guy, lived in a world by himself. He was focused on education and remembering his lines for his role Boukman in the upcoming school play. It was not of major importance for Little Guy to be focused on his parent’s financial situation. He has not been faced yet with the reality of being dirt poor. Lili wanted Little Guy to have the life that Guy and she never had. She wanted to give her son the opportunity to be successful. Guy wanted his son to work in the sugar mill, the only source of jobs in the area. Lili opposed this idea for it might influence their son’s destiny.
The main quote that plays a major role throughout the story happens when Little Guy is reciting his lines for the play. “There is so much sadness in the faces of my people. I have called on their gods, now I call on our gods. I call on our young. I call on our old. I call on our mighty and the weak. I call on everyone and anyone so that we shall all let out one piercing cry that we may either live freely or we should die” (244). Boukman says this during the revolution as the great rebel leader. A question for Danticat, would have to be if she...
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