Freedom can take many forms, and can be attained in different ways. In Edwidge Danticat’s ‘A Wall of Fire Rising’ the hot air balloon symbolizes the freedom of Guy, a man trying to escape the unjust cycle of poverty through his own means of death, leaving behind a wife and son. Guy is not judged after death based on the act of killing himself, he is judged based on his deeds and actions while he was alive
Lili loved Guy and did not agree with his negative personal views. Lili’s initial reaction to Guy’s death was not how a typical wife would react when witnessing her husband’s death. She did not run towards her husband’s body but instead slowly walked towards him and just examined the body in deep thought trying to find physical signs showing that it was the man she loved. Lili showed no signs of being angry at Guy for leaving her and Little Guy alone. Her lack of shock described by her reaction and body language showed that she understood the reason behind his action and accepted his decision. Her last words when asked if she wanted Guy’s eyes closed she replied “No, leave them open. My husband, he likes to look at the sky” (Danticat 218). Lili realized that Guy had finally found his freedom and that living did not mean he was alive. It was death that let him live.
Little Guy had been hidden from the reality of his family’s situation, having the bare minimum to try and survive from day to day. Getting an education was the main priority, while his parents somehow provided food on the table. Little Guy seemed confused when his father was about to jump out of the hot air balloon. When he approached the body, he was in a state of shock. Little Guy did not ask any questions after seeing his father’s body on the ground. All he uttered were the lines from his play that Guy was so proud of, in which Little Guy played Boukman, a slave revolutionary. Despair was apparent when “the boy continued reciting his lines, his voice rising to a man’s grieving roar”...
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