The short story “Fireweed” is written by Skye Brannon, it is a story about a young man named Baluta. He emigrated from West Africa to US, with his brother Jato and his sitster in law Sama. The story is about how an ordinary workday can trigger memories from the past. In the beginning his memories are filled with happiness, because it is about his family back in Liberia. But as the story evolves, his memories, which he desperately ties to forget presents them selves.
The main character, Baluta immigrated to US about 1980-1990’s because of the civil war in Liberia. In the short story it is written that“ The war will be coming our way soon. It was the first time Baluta saw fear behind his father’s strong eyes”. This may be the reason why Baluta left Africa and immigrated to US. Baluta and jota is not very articulate. And their problem with the English language is portrayed by the author substituting a normal English vocabulary and choose to write sentences frenetically, for instance “ Dese Americans, Joto said, if you tell demy out Mandika name, dey look like you have given dem a riddle…”
Though the characters may have some problems with the language, it is not said directly that they are stupid. Furthermore is seems that Baluta is a very thoughtful young man, who pays attention to the people around him. He is keen to make the people around him feel good in his company, and he finds it sad when he is incapable of making life easier for others. He feels very sad that he need to use the car, to get to work, because then his family have to get up early to cheat the buss to work. And another example is that he makes sure that the people he works with doesn’t have any problems pronouncing his name and therefore chooses to take the name Joel. He is very kind to other people, even though he had a very hard childhood in Liberia. He was an eyewitness to the murder of his family and unfortunately the memory of this still haunts him. His bad childhood,...
Skye Brannon wrote fireweed in 2009. The story is written chronically, is in past tense and it starts like many others of its kind in media res. It doesn’t contain many descriptions about the environment but is never the less pretty detailed. It’s a short story about a young man named Balula. It only covers this one-day were we follow Balula in his work, and these flashbacks that he keeps having the whole story. The main theme of the story is how war have an effect on those who have effected by it, and how it have had terrible consequences for so many minds and bodies. So in short the main theme is memories.
The family have moved from Liberia, a town called Kpatawee Falls, to where the story takes place. We don’t get told exactly where this is, but it’s an English speaking country, so maybe the United States or Great Britain.
He lives with his brother and sister-in-law.
Balula has an accent, and Skye Brannon shows this by writing how Balula pronounces some words wrong, for an example “dem” instead of “them”.
The precise age of Balula isn’t mentioned, but we can guess that he is pretty young, but old enough to drive and work as a carpenter. He is from the middle class maybe a bit poor. Some signs that they could be poor is that is brother and sister-in-law, have to get up very early to make it to work in time, Balula feels a little bad this he I the only one with a car, cause he reach his job with bus. It’s a very old car,...
Engelsk B - 2015
Memories can be a good thing, just as well as a bad thing. It all depends on what you’re remembering. Grief, on the other hand, is never a good thing. Remembering things that bring you sorrow or sadness is the dark side to memory, and can sometimes follow you throughout your entire life.
The grief and the sorrow, is just one theme among others, touched in Skye Brannon’s short story »Fireweed«.
The main character in the short story is Baluta. He once lived in Liberia, but is somehow living in America at the time being. He lives with his brother, Jato, and his sister-in-law. Every morning Baluta goes to work by car, whilst his brother and sister-in-law must get up extremely early to catch the initial bus every day. This makes Baluta sad, but he can’t help it, he is the one who has to go where the busses do not go, and therefor the on he has to go by car.
Baluta’s life is marked by grief, and his past keeps catching up with him. Before going to work, he puts on a smile alongside his new identity - Joel. The idea for a fake working-identity was initially his brothers, but Baluta adopted the idea very fast and smoothly.
Once he is wearing his work shirt, and the nametag “Joel”, he puts up a façade between his true self and the person he is working for and thereby changes his personality.
“Joel” is a hardworking, professional and well-integrated citizen, who is not to fear by anyone,...
Baluta and some of his family have moved from Liberia in Africa. It is properly a result of a war caused by “blood diamantes”. We are not told which country Baluta moved to, but it’s an English speaking country.
Baluta speaks and understands English very well. That properly means he has lived there for a couple of years. He is earning his money by working as a carpenter. But that doesn't make him a millionaire. As you already can sense in the start of the story, it’s showed by, they cannot afford a new and bigger bed or a new car or anything else that could make their lives more pleasant. Another sign is that he lives with his brother and sister-of-law. And they all have to share one bathroom. Baluta is the only one in the family who goes to work by car because there is no bus to the place he works. He doesn’t like that fact; that the rest of the family has to get up very early to take the bus, he wishes that they all could have a car even if it’s an old and used one. Witch also is something that could indicate that the family doesn’t have a lot of money.
The story is easy to understand, but doesn’t contains many descriptions of the environment so in that case we have to guess a bit. But it contains a lot of flashbacks to Baluta’s life in Liberia. All these flashbacks appear because something from Baluta’s life in the new country reminds him of something and someone from his life in Liberia. The first flashback appears when he is taking a cold...
It was a remembering day for Baluta. His mind was not set on the work he had to do, but it was set on a lot of remembering’s from home.
Baluta works as a carpenter but uses the name Joel that has been his brother’s idea. Baluta and his brother live in America as some kind of handyman. They use American names because it is way easier to connect with the Americans. Baluta used to work for Mrs Giles doing some work on the banister, and since she was pleased with his work she referred him for more work as a reward. Baluta is going to work for a couple that needs work done on their cabinets. Even though Jato told Baluta to use an American name for work, the American lady, Mrs Giles, doesn’t even bother to remember Baluta’s fake name ‘Joel’. Racism and integration are therefore two of the main themes in the story.
Baluta, Jato and Jato’s wife, Sama, live in America a neighbourhood where there is a factory district and ghettos. This is the first setting we are introduced to. Baluta takes cold showers in the morning since Jato and Sama already leaves at 5 a.m. to catch a bus for work. Therefore, when Baluta showers, there is no more hot water. Baluta takes the old Camero to work, which Jato calls the ‘Swiss Chevy’ since it has so many holes in it. When Baluta is driving it, he can hear the wind whistle through the holes. Baluta, Jato and Sama are not so wealthy since they have a whistling car, not much warm water and are living in what we would call a...
...Fireweed – Essay
Fireweed is a short story written by Skye Brannon. In the text we are introduced to Baluta who is the main character. Baluta lives in the USA. We are not told what city Baluta lives in, but there is something mentioned about ghettoes in his neighborhood. This indicates that Baluta lives like many other Afro-Americans. His childhood city is described as a little Shanty town in Africa. We don’t know about Baluta’s age, however, long time ago he moved to America, possibly due to an outcome of war where something really sad happened to him and his family.
In the text it’s stated that he lives with his big brother Jato and his sister-in-law Sama. When they are at work they don’t use their real names, but instead they prefer more common English names. Baluta’s English name is Joel, made up by his brother “Bob”. The reason for this is given in the text, “Dese Americans, if you tell dem your Mandika name, dey look like you’ve given dem a riddle. You tell dem your name is Bob, and dey are all smiles” which indicates that they may be afraid of the different society in some way, like the ‘people’ being mentioned have no reason to smile at them, which in the end means that Baluta and his family are looking for approval.
They all have jobs and Baluta drives the family’s Chevy every day, as there are no buses driving to his work site. Baluta feels bad about the fact that he is the one who drives the car, as Jato and Sama have to get up...
...My problem is bigger than yours
The short story ”Fireweed” is written by Sky Brannon in 2009. The story is about Baluta, who is working as a carpenter. It’s the remembering day for the loss of his sister. Baluta is working for a lady named Tiffany. Throughout the day he is continuing to think about his sister, but at the time Tiffany mentions the word “fireweed”, he starts thinking about the murder of his father and grandmother. He doesn’t want to think of that day.
The story is told in a third person, where we as readers get an insight in some of Baluta’s feelings and how he sees other people. It’s an all-knowing narrator, because we aren’t really inside Baluta’s head, but we know how he feels anyway. The story is told in past tense and has two parallel stories running side by side. The flashbacks are about his life in Liberia and the present story is about his new life in America. There is a flashback every time something he sees on his way or something there is talked about is reminding him on something that happened in Liberia. In the present time we hear about him working at a cabinet in Tiffany’s house. But in the meantime we also hear about his childhood and his sister. In the last flashback he is thinking about the murder of his father, sister and his grandmother. The flashbacks are also told in a third person and is written is a past tense like the rest of the story.
Baluta is a young Liberian man, who is living in America....
Baluta and some of his family members have moved from Liberia. It might be as a
result of a war. The country they have moved to is not mentioned in the story, but its
an English speaking country. So perhaps somewhere in the United States or Great
Britain. Baluta has an accent when he speaks. So he will for example pronounce 'dose
and dem' instead of 'those and them'.
However, he speaks and understands English well, which indicates that he has
lived there for at least some years. He works as some kind of a craftsman, and he
helps people fixing stuff, for an example furniture. He doesn't have very much
money. And as reader you get a picture of that fact already in the very beginning of
the story. It says how he has to get up from his cot. Suggesting that they cannot afford
a bigger or a more modern bed. He lives with his brother and sister-of-law and
perhaps some other family members, too. And he shares the bathroom with both of
them. He is also the only one in the family who goes to work by car because there is
no bus line to where he's going. And he feels very badly about that. Because the rest
of the family has to get up very early to take the bus. Also something that could
indicate that the family isn't very wealthy.
The story is fairly detailed, and contains few descriptions of the environment. It
covers a single day, is written in past tense and proceeds chronologically. But it
contains a lot of small flashbacks/memories...
Skye Brannon’s short story “Fireweed” was written in 2009, and is about a man called Baluta.
He is an immigrant in America and lives with his brother and sister-in-law in a poor
neighbourhood. He works as a carpenter and drives a fair while to get to work. During the day
he keeps getting flashbacks about his former life in Liberia.
The short story is constructed with a lot of flashbacks to try to get insight in
Baluta’s life and understand the reason why he is mourning. The story starts with a dream
where you get introduced to his dead sister. Then it continues in present time and soon after
he sees something that reminds him about Liberia or his sister and then there is another
flashback, the story’s structure continues like that throughout the story.
“This time, he would take a right after entering the gate, and drive past the large man-made
pond. It was only a lip, a small man-made lip on one side of the water’s body, but it was just the
same curve as the pond where he and Alonso played, splashing and laughing.” (9)
The ending is open and that leaves you with a lot of thoughts, due to the dramatic ending
where you find out that Baluta’s family got slaughtered by men with guns and machetes. The
story is really unpredictable and the ending is totally unexpected, it took me by surprise. I
thought it was quite sad and I got really astonished.
The flashbacks gives you small pieces of Baluta’s former life in Liberia and this
make you want...