Comparing The Loss Of Innocence In Wild Swans By Alice Munro And Flowers

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Both “Wild Swans” by Alice Munro and “Flowers” by Alice Walker explore the loss of innocence in young women. Women have historically been seen as delicate and in need of protection. It is no wonder that the loss of a woman’s virginity is referred to as “deflowering,” comparing a woman’s sexual release to the death of beautiful, fragile nature. A woman’s innocence is coveted, as people go to great lengths to shield them from both the reality of death and the pleasures of sex. The loss of certain kinds of innocence, specifically sexual, can be seen as shameful for a woman, as opposed to the masculine pride a man may feel from the same events. Through the choice of point of view, plot, and tone, Walker depicts Myop in “Flowers” as finding more peace in her loss of innocence than Rose does in “Wild Swans.” Walker tells Myop’s story in a third person omniscient point of view, but limits greatly the extent to which she discloses Myop’s inner feelings. Only once does Walker refer to Myop as “unafraid” (Walker 76), giving us some insight into her thoughts. However, most of the story is told from a rather detached point of view, mostly noting Myop’s actions and the setting around her. Myop’s thoughts, then, must be gleaned from the events of the story. One sees in how Myop responds to the corpse – casually plucking a flower from beside his head – that while the corpse has stripped her of her innocence, she has become more mature through her experience. Myop understands and accepts

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