Marigolds and Symbolism

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A Bright Splash of Yellow

Do you believe everything in life has a purpose? Many people share this belief, and even if you don’t, you have to admit that one event in life could lead to another. In the short story, “Marigolds”, Eugenia Collier creates a world where the marigolds, are the only beauty and hope in town. Therefore the marigolds symbolize something greater than what the main character Lizabeth and the rest of the children in her hometown innocent young minds could understand.

In the short story, a girl named Lizabeth who is the narrator is remembering her childhood, and her transition from childhood to adulthood which occurred after she had committed an unforgiving act of foolishness. Lizabeth is lives in a town filled with poverty, hopelessness, and dust. But despite this there was always a small symbol of hope and beauty left in town, the marigolds Miss Lottie so tenderly cared for. Miss Lottie was old woman who must have at least a hundred years old and lived in an equally old worn-out house. As far back as the children could remember they always hated the marigolds for some odd reason, and even though the marigolds were beautiful the children could never understand the marigolds true beauty. Although the marigolds did offer some form of beauty and hope to the town there was a darker side of town that left many families broken and hurt. Unfortunately Lizabeth’s father was a victim of the town’s economic collapse leaving him desperate for work, hence making her mother the main financial support for the family. These events ultimately lead her father to break down emotionally in the middle of the night. Overhearing this Lizabeth becomes overwhelmed with a fury of emotions and goes off into the night and destroys the only beauty in town, Miss Lottie’s marigolds.

Miss Lottie’s marigolds were the only brightest colored objects in town that Lizabeth could remember. She also describes the marigolds as, “...a brilliant splash of sunny against the...
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