Journal 4 - The Flowers
Alice Walkers, “The Flowers”, is a short story about a young girl Myop. One day, Myop is happy and carefree as she skips around her family's cabin playing with the animals. On this day she decides to explore the woods as she had done many times with her mother in late autumn while gathering nuts. Myop then leaves the safety and peacefulness of her family's cabin to search for new and wonderful flowers. The flowers represent innocence, life, and the beauty of life. This summer morning she makes her own path and finds herself about a mile from home in unfamiliar surroundings. The cove she had come upon was gloomy, damp and had a mysterious silence. This description of the cave is very effective because it provides a picture for the reader to visualize, and makes the later events all the more shocking. In her quest to recapture the happiness of the morning, and find her way back to her cabin, she stumbles onto the remains of a man who had clearly been killed in a lynching. She sees the brittleness of his death when she discovered his "large white teeth, all of them cracked or broken" showing that he might have been beaten before his murder. She then looks up at a tree and sees the rotted remains of a noose. The dead man represents death, and shows that even though he was once a big, strong man, this had no bearing on preventing his own death. "Myop laid down her flowers" was a sign of releasing her youthfulness, as she was forced to face one of the most violent forms of racism. The end of her childhood innocence was recognized in the last sentence of the story with the statement "And the summer was over."
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