The Flowers

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”The Flowers” by Alice Walker

Summary:
“The Flowers” 1973 is written by Alice Walker who is an Afro-American author. “The Flowers” is a short story about a girl named Myop. Myop is a black 10-yeard old girl who lives on a farm with her poor sharecropper family in the countryside. She staggers around and plays with animals and discovers beautiful nature in her pleasuring never-ending childhood. But while exploring the land she lives near with flowers in her hands she accidently discovers a horrible crime. The remains of a hanged man reveals in the soil. She lays down her flowers and the summer was over.

Analysis:
When the ignorance of an innocent child collides with the harsh reality of the miserable slave-history, will the idyllic life, flourishing hopes and dreams of the little ones, soon be gone and forgotten. But this loss of innocence is likely to be replaced by maturity, which makes a clear distinction between child and adult.

The story is written as a 3rd person omniscient narrator. The harvesting of corn, cotton, peanuts and squash indicates that the story takes place in the Southern states since these crops were commonly harvested there.2 Myop and her family live in sharecropper cabin with rusty boards that could indicate that they are poor. Therefore it’s likely that the story is taking place in the 20th century where racial discrimination was at its peak. In the beginning of the story there is dominating use of positive phraseology and the environment is described idyllically. “… Made each day a golden surprise that caused excited little tremors to run up her jaws.”3 This idyllic description is also equivalent to how peaceful Myop is enjoying her childhood. She seems to be unaware about her presence in the American society where there was an explicit difference between the black and white. The author tries to describe this racial problem symbolically when she mentions how “tiny white bubbles disrupt the thin black scale of soil...” But...
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