“Fireweed” by Skye Brannon is structured around the trauma of the main character, Baluta. The author conveys it by mixing present moments in the US with past memories of Baluta from when he was a child living in Liberia.

The present action functions as a trigger for his memories; the plot is not about what happens in the present but about what had happened in the past. For this reason, the plot is not a very traditional one, although it includes most of the elements of a plot line, having an exposition, a rising action and a climax. However, the story lacks any falling action and resolution.


The title of the short story is slightly ambiguous before reading the whole narrative.



The short story begins directly, hooking readers’ attention because the exposition omits many details about the characters and the actual plot: “It was a remembering day for Baluta. It began with laughter, or a dream of laughter. It was Alanso’s laugh, flowing like doves out of her bright smiling mouth.” (ll. 1-2)



The middle of the short story comprises most of the rising action. However, unlike in more traditional plot lines, the rising action in “Fireweed” is comprised of both present tension points and past memories rendered through flashback.

The first tension point takes place when Baluta reaches his employer who looks scared as a monkey when she sees him,...



The story does not end with a traditional resolution; rather with a prolonged climax.


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