What do you think happens at the end of "A Wall of Fire Rising"? Is Guy's plunge to the earth a deliberate suicide or an accident? What are some symbolic interpretations of both possibilities?

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In Edwidge Dandicat’s story, Guy had dreamed of getting away from their life of poverty, phrasing this dream as sailing: “I'd like to sail off somewhere and keep floating . . . . ” Although a fall from the balloon would be fatal, it remains open whether he thought practically...

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In Edwidge Dandicat’s story, Guy had dreamed of getting away from their life of poverty, phrasing this dream as sailing: “I'd like to sail off somewhere and keep floating . . . . ” Although a fall from the balloon would be fatal, it remains open whether he thought practically about his death as the result. Perhaps the thought of floating was more on his mind.

In addition, the idea of a spectacular end might have had greater appeal than enduring the routine of frustrating days. The symbolic dimension that connects the event to the title come with the idea of “rising,” as a direct reference to the mythical phoenix, symbolizing rebirth as it eternally rises from its own ashes. Another allusion is to the Greek mythical figure of Icarus, who dared to fly but plunged to death by getting too close to the sun.

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