29 April 2013
Myop in “The Flowers” by Alice Walker
Short stories are known to have two very distinct characteristics which are interrelated: they are compressed and concentrated. By compressed, they mean that the writer squeezes as much information as possible so that it is still considered a short story. When it comes to the story being concentrated, they typically mean taking out anything that is not essential to the conflict and how the protagonist deals with that conflict. In the plot of short stories there is usually an exposition, an inciting incident (otherwise known as the introduction of conflict), rising action, a climax, a falling action, a dénouement, and a resolution. Depending on the writer and short story, certain aspects will be focused more than others to help readers better understand the protagonist and how they react to or resolve the conflict. For example, the writer may spend pages on the exposition so that when it comes to the climax and resolution, the reader will understand why the characters reacted the way they did. By the end of the short story, there is typically a change in the protagonist. For example in “The Flowers” by Alice Walker, the main character, Myop, goes through a change in which she loses her innocence after she sees the “rooted remains of a noose” (the conflict) and Walker makes this change evident through the setting in which her short story takes place.
Myop is a ten year old African American girl who grew up in a sharecropper’s home. She is a very young, innocent, and carefree girl for she “skip[s] lightly” around her family’s land and “nothing existed for her but her song.” To Myop, everything that she knew was all there was to know in the world. This would explain why Walker decided to name her Myop because myopic is another word for short-sighted, narrow-minded, and unaware. She also “carried a short, knobby stick” in which she would “struck out at random at chickens...
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