Wall of Fire Rising is a
short story written by Edwidge Danticat . This story was first published in
1995. The short is about a family of three Guy, Little Guy, and Lilli. Lilli is mother of Little guy ad Guy’s wife. Guy
is the father works different jobs to take care of his family, and their son
Little Guy goes to school. The family lives in a poor town called Shantytown. In
order to entertain themselves, they go as a family to the Assad’s hot air balloon.
The Assad’s are the rich owners of the sugar mill . Guy is intrigued by the
balloon and is always talking about it. Guy got a job working at the Sugar Mill
but he was not as happy. Guy’s mind is always filled with the chance of flying
the balloon to somewhere better than where they are now. Guy questions Lilli
about her thoughts on how a man is judged after they are gone. Lilli responds
and Guy immediately remembers his father and began to compare himself to his
father, whom he did not want to be like. One morning Lilli found Little Guy staring
at the sky. Lilli was shocked to see Guy
inside of the air balloon. Lilli and Little Guy made their way to the Sugar
Mill. People from the community watched as Guy soared into the sky and landed
close by the crowd. The balloon drifted away and Guy died as a result of leaping
from the balloon and bleeding out. . Lilli looks at her husband for the last
time, and told the sugar mill workers not to close Guy’s eyes because he
enjoyed looking at the sky.
is one of the major themes of the story. They are a underprivileged family, who
sometimes did not have a meal to eat and had to find a means of suppressing
hunger. Guy believes that a man should be able to provide for his family,
something that his father was unable to do. Guy felt worthless because he did
not have a steady job and this increased his fear of becoming like his own
father. Guy constantly questions Lilli about her beliefs on how a man is judged
after they are gone. This makes Lilli fear that Guy will leave her and Little
Guy in his quest for freedom. After Guy’s suicide, Lilli’s fears became prominent.
The hot air balloon symbolizes freedom in the story. Guy often thinks about
flying the balloon in search of a better future. At the end of the story, Guy
uses the balloon as his way of committing suicide. This is because he thought that
committing suicide was the only way out and to the only way to achieve freedom.
Lilli seems to be more hopeful of the future than her husband did. Throughout
the story, they argued on whether or not to add their son’s name to the long
list of individuals hoping to get a job working at the sugar mill. Lilli told guy
that she did not want to dim her son’s chance of a brighter future.