In the short story Marigolds, the theme that was most evident to me was that only when you really need something is when you realize its importance. The setting in which the story Marigolds takes place is a very small, poor, neighborhood. As told by the narrator it was, “When I think of the home town of my youth, all that I seem to remember is dust—the brown, crumbly dust of late summer—arid, sterile dust that gets into the eyes and makes them water, gets into the throat and between the toes of bare brown feet.” Automatically right after that the narrator also remembers another thing, Miss Lottie’s marigolds. “And one other thing I remember, another incongruence of memory—a brilliant splash of sunny yellow against the dust—Miss Lottie’s marigolds. A 2nd message that came off to me almost automatically was that there was hope. The theme that I presented and hope seem to go hand in hand with this story. It is thoroughly supported by the fact that when the narrator recounts old times, of a dusty, horrible neighborhood, she remembers the marigolds, which were a sign of hope. Even in this bad neighborhood something so beautiful could exist. Imagine if this setting that the narrator lived in was perfect, those simple marigolds wouldn’t have mattered. The marigolds symbolized that even in such a chaotic environment, there was still something beautiful. The narrator didn’t realize their vulnerability until she heard her father crying due to the frustration of not having a job and living in poverty. It was only then that she realized not everything was “okay” just because everyone in the neighborhood had the same problem. Eventually all this frustration led to the destruction of Miss Lottie’s marigolds which symbolized the loss of innocence, or hope. It is only then that the narrator realized the true intentions behind the marigolds and understood the situation that she was placed in. Needless to say, Lizabeth (The narrator) went on to plant marigolds of her...
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