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Fireweed

In: English and Literature

Submitted By MadsC
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Fireweed
The short story Fireweed, written by Skye Brannon, is the story about a young man named Baluta. He has migrated from West Africa to America, and with him is his brother Jato, and Jato’s wife Sama. The story is about how an ordinary workday triggers some memories. These memories start out as good and nice memories about his family back in Liberia, but turn bad. It is memories he has been trying to forget. As we read the story, the memories get tied together, and we end up discovering that something truly awful has happened to him and his family.

The story takes place in America. The protagonist, Baluta, lives in the ghetto with Jato and Sama. Baluta drives an old rusty car he calls Swiss Chevy, because it is full of holes. Baluta is very goodhearted by nature: “… Jato and Sama who had to wake up at five a.m. to catch the buses to work. Baluta felt awful for this, but he had to work to get a car, and he needed a car to get to work.”
The story follows the storyline chronologically with some flashbacks. It starts out with Baluta thinking of his dead little sister Alanso. He describes her as a very loving and happy person: “It was Alanso’s laugh, flowing like doves out of her bright smiling mouth. It was Alanso’s laugh, out from between those cheeks caught the sun and held it in a warm glow the rest of the day”. It carries on as an ordinary workday: he showers and drives the Swiss Chevy to his worksite. I suspect that the worksite is a so called Gated Community, as there is a lot of golf resorts on the way, an a big gate he has to drive through. This is usually where the wealthy, nervous people lives, and that description fits perfectly on Tiffany, the woman Baluta is doing some carpeting for. He describes her like the frighten monkeys in his father’s monkey traps, inside her big house.
Only when Baluta tells her that Mrs. Giles has sent him she gets...

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