Conflict Within Oneself Essay

1541 words - 7 pages

Throughout the course of a lifetime, a man may feel like he is unable to rise up in any facet of life, he does his job but doesn’t feel whole within himself. Edwidge Danticat’s, “A Wall of Fire Rising” shows this concept through the eyes of a man who works every six months, cleaning toilets. He has bigger dreams for not just himself but for his son as well. Danicat’s portrayal of Guy shows a man who wants the best for his son, but senses barriers that aren’t allowing him to complete this task. To help his son, he wants to put his son on the list at the mill to make sure he has something when the time comes, but Lili doesn’t want her son on the list because then that will constrict their ...view middle of the document...

I don’t want him on that list” (66). Guy sees the list as opportunity whereas Lili sees the list as a barricade for Little Guy which would prevent him from doing better things with his life. Guy wants the best for his son, but also respects Lili’s feeling about the list. When they are at the mill looking at the balloon, she reassures herself by asking again about Little Guy and Guy says “no more about the boy. He will not go on the list” (67).
Danticat could’ve had Little Guy play any role in a play, but he has him playing the role of an important revolutionary man who turns out to be the hero of the whole play. Lili allows Little Guy to envision himself as Boukman; as a great rebel leader when he recites his lines. When Lili asks Little Guy “What is on your mind right now Boukman?” (55), Guy answers the question for him. He didn’t want to hear the lines because Lili took Guys thunder away when he was going to tell her the news that he was going to be working. He is conflicted with the notion that Lili and Little Guy have been working on those lines all day and she wanted him to hear them before he tells her news. However, when Little Guy started to speak, “Lili and Guy stood there with pride” (57). They continue on to say that they felt the words not coming from their son but from Boukman, the rebel leader. The two of them show clear pride in the way their son is growing up even if they have to make him feel full with sugar water.
Danitcat uses the Boukman lines as a way to show that Guy was ready to do something. Danitcat gives the audience the first set of lines right before the family goes and visits the hot air balloon and the second set after Guy comes home from a long day at the factory. Guy being a man after coming home from work wants to sit down and enjoy a smoke; however being the father that he is, he listens to Little Guy’s new lines. When Little Guy was done, he shows a sensitive side when he “wipes a tear from his eye and he tells Little Guy that his lines were just as affecting as the first ones” (71). He left the house to sit at his favorite spot because he is thinking to himself of all the good that Lili has done for Little Guy. When they show up, he tells her, “you are really good with that boy, you will make a performer out of him” (72).
Guy insists to Lily that since he saw the owner of the contraption fly, he should be able to fly the balloon. Danticat uses the balloon as a message to Guy that is a challenge that he wants to conquer. He says to Lili: “I wager you I can fly it” (61). The way he bets his wife shows he is extremely confident that by simply watching the owner fly many times, that now he is able to to just crawl in the contraption and fly it without instruction. He describes the “first time he saw the owner fly the balloon as a miracle but the more and more he saw him...

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