Wall of Fire Rising

Topics: Short story Pages: 2 (632 words) Published: April 11, 2014
Jordan Jolly
Dr. Douglas Hall
English 1102
10 February 2014

Reading Response: “A Wall of Fire Raising”

“A Wall of Fire Rising” was written by Edwidge Danticat. The short story was accompanied by a group of other short stories written by Danticat in the book Krik? Krak!. Published in 1996, the book is a collection of nine short stories. The aspect I want to focus on is the way the text illustrates control throughout the story. Throughout the story you can see where control is taking place, but it is hidden. It is hidden behind the way the family and people of the country live. They go throughout the day as if there is not any government control over them, like this is a way of life. However, the reader can see complete hegemony over this community from beginning to end.

The story takes place in the country of Haiti, in a very poor community called Shantytown. As Guy walks in the house, his wife is scrapping cornmeal off the floor onto banana leaves as their supper for the night. While Lily is preparing their supper, we hear the first part of Little Guy’s lines given to him for his play at school. Little Guy’s lines are the first piece of evidence given to the reader. After Little Guy’s lines, the narrator informs us that the speech was from a European man and not a forefather of Haitian independence. This is just one of the many ways the government over the country had its people brainwashed. We can see that not only does the government “brainwash” them, they do it at an early age. Another example of how the government has total control would be the way the community receives their daily news. Each night the Shantytown community gathers around one television, and they watch the state-sponsored news at 8pm, which is all they have access to. After the news goes off the television cuts off and everyone returns to their shacks. Past the television set is the Sugar Mill, where a number of people work. However, most do not and are put on a waiting list...
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