Unformatted text preview: presents beneath it ablaze. Walls again uses fire as both a literal and metaphorically destructive image. Recall the other fires the family has experienced: Jeannette's burns, the hotel fire in San Francisco, and Jeannette and Brian's laboratory fire. While the family survived those fires, each one left a different kind of emotional (and in Jeannette's case, physical) scar. In the Christmas fire, the entire family is scarred — not by the fire itself, but by Dad's behavior. Mom is unable to leave him; the kids are unable to change the situation. Therefore, the fire works as a symbol of the unending cycle of poverty and disappointment the family undergoes; as soon as something positive happens, it is dashed by some sort of disaster — in this case, Dad....
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- Fall '08
- Metaphor, metaphorically destructive image.