Before interment, the girl was a curious, active character but throughout the story, and her prolonged isolation, her self-identity and personality undergo many changes. For example, in the beginning when her mother reminds her they have to leave their home, taking only what they can carry in their arms, the girl declares, “ ‘I already know that’... She wore a white cotton frock with tiny blue anchors and her hair was pulled back in two tight braids. She tossed her books on the sofa and told the woman [her mother] that her teacher, Mr. Rutherford, had talked for an entire hour about prime numbers and coniferous trees” (12). This quote demonstrates how
As the literal meaning of the story, “The Flowers” is about the lynching of African Americans at that time. Even though this story is fiction, it definitely represents what could have happened in that day in age. It is historically accurate in that it very well could have happened and most probably did happen based on the time period it was written. The lynching of African Americans was a huge problem at that time in the south. Black men were being blamed for crimes they did not commit and were hanged for it without proof. Racism and segregation were ramped in the United States. Thus, inducing the civil rights movement that would fight for the end of segregation and racism. In the story itself, there were signs of how common it was for a black man to be lynched at the time. When Myop stumbles across the body of a recently lynched black man, she immediately realizes what had happened to him and does not really freak out. As expressed in the book, the moment she realized what she had stepped on she let out a little yelp of surprise but then took interest in her discovery. This reaction insinuates that it was almost normal to see such a thing. In the end, she laid down her flowers next to the man and continued on her way home. On the other hand, this story can be taken for more than its literal meaning.
One of the most important techniques employed by walker to reflect childhood innocence and the loss of it is symbolism. Walker has enriched her piece with symbolism to highlight the innocent days then the sudden maturation of the protagonist. Even the title of the story is symbolic “The Flowers” stands for the childhood purity and its loss. Throughout the story, Walker uses flowers to depict both innocence and the loss of it. Moreover, she specifically has named the little girl Myop – short for Myopia. That is because Myopia stands for the inability to see things deeply so it shows her childhood innocence. The story beings showing the setting of it which is the harvesting of corn, cotton, peanuts and squash; therefore, it illustrates that she is on a farm. It is also post-civil war days because “sheer cropper cabin” are a new development during this time-her family are sheer croppers.
"She skipped lightly from hen house to pigpen". This shows how happy Myop is in this setting, we know she feels safe here, "She felt light and good in the warm sun" Her innocence produces an excitement to the reader as it gives the character and the text somewhere to go. We learn that
Added to this, the writer’s use of symbolism strengthens this idea of attractiveness and inexperience, Myop’s name being the main symbol. Myop is short for Myopia. The name given to short-sightedness. This is used as a metaphor as Myop’s naivety, then as the story goes on Myop opens her eyes to see what the real world is like and the author mentions her name less. Another symbol used in paragraph 2 is the “warm sun”. This symbolises the light and life of the world. It is a time when people are supposed to be awake and no body should be sleeping but this is later contrasted further on in the story. All the setting and scenery described gives an image of the Garden of Eden- paradise – a place everyone wants to be, where nothing bad can happen up until one critical moment when Eve eats the apple and everything forever changes. This gives the reader an insight in to the rest of the story but still leaves them wondering what could happen next.
Walker continues to use negative imagery and ideas to reveal her hesitation towards the arrangement. The author uses these literary devices because she wants to illustrate Roselily’s reasons for marrying the man. Roselily does this because it is what's best for her and her children. In a way, Roselily is being forced because she does not have a better alternative to her current life. By marrying the man, Roselily will have a renewed lifestyle and reputation. Roselily imagines the flowers in her hand as kids. When she does this, her head fills with murderous thoughts. “A squeeze around the flowers in her hands chokes off three and four and five years of breath” (Walker 4). As guilty as Roselily feels, this shows how Roselily wishes she never had given birth to any of her kids. When she tightens her grip on the bouquet of flowers, she thinks of her children. Roselily dreams she did not give birth to these kids. Roselily’s ideas of murder could possibly be associated with her obsession with the idea of her personal spirit being robbed from her. Weddings usually give off positive connotations, however in Roselily’s mind she disturbs the happy wedding with dark thoughts such as the idea of murder. Deviating from the topic of “personal spirit”, Brent studies the ferocious thoughts swarming Roselily’s mind. “Roselily’s rebellious thoughts during the wedding ceremony go so far as to enter the realms of murder and blasphemy. She expresses a wish that she could be free of her three
As Myop continues her journey she began to feel uneasy of the unknown land so she starts to head back home where she feels safe which, is an automatic trait that we, as humans carry; go back to a place where you feel protected. As Myop is on her way back home, she “stepped smack onto his eyes” (Walker, 76.) Myop stumbled upon a dead man’s body but she isn’t afraid of the body, she’s more startled and confused at the sighting. She still hasn’t yet quite understood what she was actually seeing because she decides to get closer to pick up a wild pink rose that was near the head of the corpse. Myop deciding to pick up the wild pink rose despite her seeing the man’s body still shows that she still has her innocence and how she doesn’t quite fully understand what was going on. That quickly changes when she sees “the rotted remains of a noose” (Walker 77.) When Myop discovered the noose, she realized what had happened. Myop realized that this man was lynched. It all made sense now. From Myop seeing the man’s broken and cracked teeth indicated that this man was attacked by a group of people before he was lynched by
Alice Walker's short fictional story, "Nineteen Fifty-five", revolves around the encounters among Gracie Mae Still, the narrator, and Traynor, the "Emperor of Rock and Roll." Traynor as a young prospective singer purchases a song from Mrs. Still, which becomes his "first hit record" and makes him rich and famous. Yet, he does not "even understand" the song and spends his entire life trying to figure out "what the song means." The song he sings seems as fictional as certain events in this story, but as historical as Traynor's based character, Elvis Presley.
Alice Walkers "Roselily" is a short story about a woman who is about to be married, but is having second thoughts about the marriage. She is also looking into the past and the future trying to make sense of what is happening. Roselily is being torn between choosing between her current or possible future Economic status, Societies view of her, her religion and her freedom. All these thoughts go through her mind as the wedding ceremony takes place, and she begins to wonder if she has made the right choice is marrying this man.
This discovery is the end of Myop’s carefree existence; therefore, her innocence dies. Myop lays down her flowers, not only at the gravesite of the man but also at the gravesite of her childhood and her former self. The most obvious way that death is present as a theme is through the fact that Myop discovers an actual dead body in the forest. She comes to realize that all people die; some have harsh and cruel deaths. The details of the decomposing body: the eyes, teeth, and rotting clothes strengthen the theme. In the beginning from the description of Emily’s death-haunted life to the description of Emily herself, it is clear that death runs rampant for Emily. Emily is a fixture in her community, as a symbol of the south’s old dying ways. She tries to deny the fact of death at all. Her necrophilia first comes to light once her father dies. She is unable to admit that he has passed away and clings to his controlling love- the only love she knows. Reluctantly, she gives up his body. When Homer dies, she again refuses to accept it, even though she is the cause of his demise. In murdering Homer, she was able to ensure that he would never leave her. Homer and Emily’s repulsive marriage reveals Emily’s attempt to fuse life and death as one. Death ultimately conquers all.
As she is developing, she is tantalized by the societal norms he represents. She is ready to give up the backwoods (a symbol of herself) for all he (a symbol of society) has to offer. Convinced of that, she sets off to find the secret of the elusive white heron and in order to find the heron, she had to climb to what was literally the top of the world for her, the top of the pine tree. The world from the top was different than the city and it was different from the woods at ground level. From the top her perspective about the world changed, it was vast and awesome, and she understood her place in it more than before. She understood it to mean more than to sacrifice her own self for the gifts this man had to offer that were tantalizing but incapitable with her personality and true self.
I believe that both the new blue flowers Myop finds and the fact that she is wandering off on her own, which is unusual, are symbols of her leaving the security of the childhood behind and going off into the unknown. The symbols are characterized by all relating to the themes growing up and loss on innocence.
Into this atmosphere of spiritual paralysis the boy bears, with blind hopes and romantic dreams, his encounter with first love. In the face of ugly, drab reality-"amid the curses of laborers," "jostled by drunken men and bargaining women"-he carries his aunt's parcels as she shops in the market place, imagining that he bears, not parcels, but a "chalice through a throng of foes." The "noises converged in a single sensation of life" and in a blending of Romantic and Christian symbols he transforms in his mind a perfectly ordinary girl into an enchanted princess: untouchable, promising, saintly. Setting in this scene depicts the harsh, dirty reality of life which the boy blindly ignores. The contrast between the real and the boy's dreams is ironically drawn and clearly foreshadows the boy's inability to keep the dream, to remain blind.
In “In Search of Our Mother’s Gardens”, Alice Walker looks to educate us on the hardships that almost all black women face when trying to express themselves through things such as art. She delves into many sociological and psychological concepts that have affected black women throughout human history. These concepts and ideologies created a realm for mass exclusion, discrimination, and oppression of many African American women, including Alice Walker’s Mother, who Alice utilizes as one of her particular examples. The writing thematically aims to show how these concepts of sexism, racism, and even classism have contributed to black women’s lack of individuality, optimism, and fulfillment for generations. The author does a tremendous job of defending and expanding upon her arguments. She has a credible background, being a black woman that produces the art of literature herself. As well as being raised by one, Walker’s first-hand experience warrants high regard. Therefore, her use of abstract and introspective language is presented clearly and convincingly. Also, her use of evidence and support from sources like Jean Toomer, Virginia Woolf, and Phillis Wheatley, all produce more validity for her stance through poems, quotes, and even experiences. All these individuals have their own accounts pertaining to the oppression of black women and their individuality. Successfully arguing that the artistry plights of black women described in “In Search of Our Mother’s Gardens” are