Ms. Davis/6th period
In the book, “Forged by Fire,” author, Sharon Draper, uses abuse to develop the
characters and teach the readers about the book’s theme via exemplification of the characters
from a third person point of view. The main characters in the story were Monique, her son,
Gerald, her “husband,” Jordan, and Angel, who was Jordan’s biological daughter. Gerald had
lived with his “Aunt Queen” for nine years, until she died of a heart attack; at this point he went
to live with his mother and Jordan, his stepfather. Gerald is exposed to the abuse of his mother
and sister by his stepfather; and he is subsequently abused himself.
Jordan physically and emotionally abused Monique. He would beat her when he was mad
or drunk, but she would not leave him because she was afraid to. Jordan also physically and
emotionally abused both Gerald, his stepson, and his biological daughter, Angel; he physically
abused Gerald by beating him, and physically abused Angel by molesting her. On one particular
occasion Jordan came home to find that the air conditioner had been stolen, and got into an
argument with Monique, who was ill and did not know that the window unit had been stolen.
“I’m sorry,” Monique pleaded. Jordan slapped her, nonetheless, and her nose began to bleed.
Gerald came home, and an altercation commenced between the two of them, during which
Gerald was assaulted, and his nose was bloodied as well.
Jordan had spent six years in prison for molesting Angel, but managed to convince the
authorities that he had changed, though he had not. During a particular occasion when Angel was
home alone with her father and he attempted to rape her she had left hotdogs cooking on the
stove. She’d tried to run, but her father locked the door. He grabbed her and tried to force her to
the bedroom. She tried to fight back, but he was too powerful. He knocked her out and put her on
By this time Gerald was getting off the bus and saw smoke coming from their apartment.
He arrived at the apartment with Angel on his mind. The door was locked, so he kicked it down.
He ran through the door screaming Angel’s name, but she was unresponsive from Jordan’s blow
(slap). Gerald ran up to Angel’s room to find Jordan trying to molest her. Gerald and Jordan got
into an argument. Then Jordan jumped at Gerald like a kangaroo, knocking him back. Gerald
moved away and let him know that the house was on fire…
…The theme of “Forged by Fire” fully manifests at the end of the story, when Gerald rescues his
sister both from Jordan and from the fire. Had the fire never occurred, and had Jordan not tripped, fell,
and died endeavoring to escape the fire, Angel, Gerald, and Monique would have never escaped his
abuse. Again, Monique had been too afraid to leave Jordan; hence, their freedom was forged by fire. The
moral of the story is to never stay in an abusive situation, as it can be dangerous and potentially fatal; and
fate (God) is known to remove people from our lives who do not serve our best interests.