The short story of “A Wall of Fire Rising” by Edwidge Danticat was initially available in the short stories collection “Krik? Krak?” The narrative’s setting is in a sugar cane mill in Haiti, and the period is undefined. However, the era may be defined by the social aspects and cultural principles of the milling plant. In the narrative, Volar is based on immigrant families. The father is a businessperson that relocated to America in pursuit of the American dream. In both “Volar” and “A Wall of Fire Rising,” the characters are influenced by their surroundings, which is undoubtedly replicated in setting, symbolism, and figurative language.
Setting, Symbolism, and Language in Shaping Characters
The settings in “Volar” is apparent primarily through a kid’s perception. Consequently, there is a component of fiction created in the setting. Moreover, the setting is considered to be dismal. The narrator observes that near the end, her mother’s opinion from the galley was of “a miserable alleyway scattered with waste littered from the windows.” The narrator overpowers this by picturing herself as a Supergirl, evading an alternative reality version where she is “lustrous and firm as a supersonic rocket.” The setting of “A Wall of Fire Rising” is Haiti’s cottage with insufficient food to eat. The father delays over seventy other individuals hoping to get a full-time occupation. In Haiti, there are no openings, and he envisions evading this situation that offered no hope.
As the narrative’s title states, the ‘wall of fire rising’ is also essential in the chronicle. This phrase is first seen in Boukman’s speech. The phrase itself talks about an occasion that instigated the Haitian Rebellion: slaves destroyed the sugar estates where they were forced to work (Danticat, 1996). In the present-day, fire is similarly what lets the hot air balloon to ascend to the sky. In both instances, fire may lead to liberty. However, it may also have the authority to destruct. Furthermore, both mother and daughter envision flying to America. Volar, the story’s title, essentially signifies being airborne. Nonetheless, some denotations are intertwined into the complete section. In an act whereby the mother desires to visit her family in Puerto Rico, the father says they may not cater as it is expensive (Lopez, 2018). The mother then replies by stating, “Ay, si yo pudiera volar,” which translates to “Oh, if only I could fly.” The mother certainly desires to visit her family in Puerto Rico.