The Theme of Poverty in Marigold and in Blues Ain't No Mockingbird

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Can Flowers Bloom In The Dark?

Poverty does not mean the same thing to every family. It can throw things your way that you do not expect, and you have to keep your composure to survive. Poverty can affect things like world views, relationships and family roles. If you want to beat poverty you must focus on the hopeful, not the hopeless.

Poverty can change how someone sees the world. In "Marigolds" Lizabeth sees the world as a place of hopelessness and despair that cannot improve. "The Depression that gripped the nation was no new thing to us, for the black workers of rural Maryland had always been depressed"(Collier 634). The family in "Blues Ain't No Mocking Bird" is the opposite of Lizabeth. Although they are poor, they have great pride and dignity and do not like it when people take advantage of them because people assume they are poor, depressed people. Granny forces the family to move every time someone tries to take advantage of them. It is their ignorance to the fact that they are poor that helps keeps them content.

The setting of a story can be affected by poverty. In "Blues Ain't No Mockingbird" the family often moves from place to place when Granny gets upset with people. She does not like it when people assume that she needs help or encouragement just because she is poor. "…Mr. Judson bringin us boxes of old clothes or raggedy magazines. Or Mrs. Cooper comin in our kitchen and touching everything sayin how clean it was". Granny seems to be the type of person who would take that statement the wrong way because Granny thinks that other people don't assume she would clean because she is poor. (Bambara 122). Poverty in "Marigolds" forces Lizabeth's family to live in a shanty town with "… dirt roads and grassless yards" (Collier 634), which just adds to the depression and anger that already exists in them. The family seems to realize that they are poor and probably will always be poor so instead of fighting it they curl up and hide....
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