quote: “The dandelions are spreading, their bitter leaves pushing up the black earth, their white roots forking deep, biting hard. Soon they will be in bloom. I will walk home via the river, père, to observe the small floating city that even now grows, spreads across the swollen Tannes.” (Harris 125)
Harris uses this metaphor “the dandelions are spreading their bitter leaves... soon they will be in bloom,” to represent the gypsies and how their presence will cause chaos in Reynaud’s town. I find Harris’s metaphor interesting because it does truly relate to the gypsies. In our current society, dandelions are branded as a leaching weed. It is often exterminated from gardens because it robs other plants and grasses’ nutrient and water and are eyesores. What many people do not know is that, dandelions are beneficial weeds. They protect from pest and also provide minerals and nutrients unique to dandelions into the soil. Not only are they beneficial to the soil and other plants, dandelions can be eaten and are rich in vitamins and antioxidants. Reynaud views the gypsies as bad for his town because he believes gypsies are thieves and do harm to others. When in reality, the gypsies have done no harm, paid for all their expenses and would help introduce new, diverse skills and tools to the town. Much like what a dandelion does. A central theme of the book is tolerance, and this quote specifically points out Reynaud’s tolerance (or lack) of the gypsies. The gypsies stick out like an eyesore among the townsfolks in Lanquet and are often view as foreigners, just like dandelions on a grass field. Harris describes the Tannes river as “swollen.” Swollen, defined by thedictionary.com, means “expanded by or as if by internal pressure.” The internal pressure that makes the town’s river, the river that is the essence and allows for existent for Lanquet, swollen, is the lack of tolerance of people with other religions and backgrounds. This stunts the town’s growth because the...
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