Fire is the ultimate destructive and redemptive force in the novel. The fire at Coulibri is an act of retribution and defiance on the part of the nearby black community, but it destroys the life that Antoinette
has known as a child. Both Coco the parrot and the moths that fly into the flames of candles throughout Antoinette’s and the husband’s
honeymoon foreshadow Antoinette’s own fiery suicide, through which she finally gains freedom at the end of the novel.