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Literature Study GuidesKrik KrakA Wall Of Fire Rising Summary

Krik? Krak! | Study Guide

Edwidge Danticat

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Krik? Krak! | A Wall of Fire Rising | Summary



Guy and Lili are the parents of Little Guy. Guy works as a cleaner of bathrooms at a nearby plantation. The three live in poverty in a one-room shack. Little Guy is given the role of a revolutionary leader in a school play and impresses his parents with his lines about bravery and patriotism. Meanwhile Guy begins to fantasize about a hot air balloon he sees at the plantation. He exclaims to Lili that he knows he can fly the balloon. One day Guy actually manages to steal the balloon and begins to fly it but he falls out and dies. Little Guy bravely and miserably recites his revolutionary speech from the play over his father's dead body.


The story focuses on a family that lives in poverty and their varied dreams of transcending their circumstances. Guy obsesses over the hot air balloon he sees at the plantation where he works. He thinks constantly about his own ability to fly the balloon, even though he has no flight training. Guy wants to overcome his poverty and rise above his circumstances. His character's revolutionary zeal can be seen as reflective of Haitian society as a whole at that time. Little Guy practices lines for his school play that express revolutionary ideals about freedom and human progress. His speech dignifies the situation when his father dies fulfilling his misguided dream of flying the balloon. Lili tells the police to leave Guy's eyes open as he loved to look at the sky. She supports her husband's obsessive dream even though it ultimately destroyed him and harmed the entire family. Guy's disastrous flight is analogous to the failed dreams of many people in Haiti who seek wealth or other forms of social success.

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