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"The Flowers" by Alice Walker

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"The Flowers" by Alice Walker

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“The Flowers” by Alice Walker is a short story written in the 1970’s. The story focuses on Myop, a ten year old African American girl who loves to explore the land in which she lives. Carefree and naïve, Myop decides to travel further away from her ‘Sharecropper cabin’ and travels deep inside the woods to unfamiliar land where she discovers the decomposed body of an African American man. It is then Myop quickly grows up and suddenly becomes aware of the world in which she lives. The story relies on setting and symbolism to convey the theme of departing innocence.

Firstly the author wants to create an astonishing and radient world in which Myop lives in with beautiful sceery and picturesque skies. To do this her descriptions of the setting is strong and detailed, for example, “skipped lightly from hen house to pigpen to smokehouse”. This highlights that Myop lives on a fairly big bit of land perhaps a farm which is filled with different kinds of animals, also the quote “the days had never been as beautiful as these” portrays that this is one of the best days of the year so far and it leaves the reader thinking, could anything go wrong to change that? Walker also tells the reader what time of year it is by describing what Myop does everyday, “The harvesting of the corn and cotton, peanuts and squash, made everyday a golden surprise”. The word “harvesting” shows that it is around the end of summer beginning of autumn and the phrase “golden surprise” reminds us that Myop is still a young girl and gets excited very easily, the world is a magical place for her. In paragraph two, Alice Walker reminds us again how young, naïve and carefree Myop is, “She struck out at random chickens she liked, and worked out the beat of a song on the fence” and the quote “she was ten, and nothing existed for her but her song”. This conveys that Myop does not have a care in the world, the only thing on her mind right now is “her song” and it is as if Myop is in her own little dream...