Alice Walker’s “The Flowers”
In short stories, the protagonist may be a round or flat character. A round character is someone that changes due to the conflict presented in the story. A flat character remains the same in the presence of conflict. In order for readers to see the change that occurs, writers emphasize if the protagonist changes as a result of conflict. They do so by using compression and concentration on characters and maximize the desired effect and to avoid diluting the plot. It is important for readers to understand the symbols and what they may be foreshadowing. Writers often choose to expand on parts, such as the exposition in order to completely develop the character so the reader can distinguishes the protagonist from other characters. In Alice Walker’s “The Flowers,” she uses the exposition and setting to help the reader depict a change in Myop as a result of the conflict she faces. Myop is different before the conflict occurs. In the exposition, Walker makes it clear that Myop is the daughter of a sharecropper. The “rusty boards” of her parents’ sharecropper cabin help the reader understand her status in society. The excitement Myop shows towards the flowers shows her simplistic lifestyle. Myop’s innocence in shone through her appreciation of everything around her. She feels that “the days had never been as beautiful as these.” The term “sharecropper” helps establish the time period. Walker also describes Myop’s hand as “dark brown.” Walker assumes the reader has some knowledge of sharecroppers and the time period which was a difficult time for African Americans. Both of these descriptions are used to indicate a period of heightened racial violence. Walker assures the reader that Myop is experienced in her knowledge of the outdoors by stating “she had explored the woods…many times.” Due to her daily outdoor experiences with her familiar farmland, she has very little fear that she may encounter danger and “vaguely keeps an eye out for...
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