Aisha Honors Freshman English
Theme Analysis Paper
Marigolds Analysis Paper
The story “Marigolds” by Eugenia W. Collier tells us of a fifteen year old girl coming into young adulthood during the great depression. It discusses the most memorable childhood memories of Elizabeth’s life in poverty, especially Miss Lottie’s beautiful marigolds. The life changes that this young girl passes through represents the end of childhood innocence into a recognition of reality in the cruel world in which she finds herself. This leads her into a new world of compassion. It is through this act that Elizabeth steps into an adult personality out of a childish mentality. The process in which she enters adulthood is represented by symbolism, vivid imagery, and details provide by Collier.
The first part of Elizabeth’s transition from the innocent and immature child she is at the beginning of this story. As a child growing up with very little in a rural town filled with other children just like her Elizabeth sees no difference in her lifestyle. To the extent of her knowledge this is how everyone was living. “We children, of course, were only vaguely aware to the extent of our poverty. Having no radios, and few newspapers, and no magazines we were somewhat unaware of the world outside our community.” (136). this is her age of unknowing innocence. Collier describes Elizabeth’s first symbolic memory of this small town as dust. “ dust- the brown, crumbly dust of late summer- arid, sterile dust that gets into the eyes and makes them water” (136). This dust shows how Elizabeth felt inside and how many others in her community felt. Although they were aware of the “American dream” people in her community never truly believed it existed because they had never seen it. All they had seen was infertile dust which could not produce life for them. This was the world Elizabeth lived in and how she felt inside.
One night after an uneventful day of pranks she awoke in the middle...
Walker, Alice. “Everyday Use”. PEP: Understanding Life’s Lessons through Literary Journey. Eds. Doris Daniels and Katerina Byrant – MA :Pearson Custor Publish, 2008
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