"The Flowers" by Alice Walker
“The Flowers” by Alice Walker is a short story written in the 1970’s. The story focuses on Myop, a ten year old African American girl who loves to explore the land in which she lives. Carefree and naïve, Myop decides to travel further away from her ‘Sharecropper cabin’ and travels deep inside the woods to unfamiliar land where she discovers the decomposed body of an African American man. It is then Myop quickly grows up and suddenly becomes aware of the world in which she lives. The story relies on setting and symbolism to convey the theme of departing innocence.
Firstly the author wants to create an astonishing and radient world in which Myop lives in with beautiful sceery and picturesque skies. To do this her descriptions of the
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This shows that the atmosphere is starting to change the further away from home she is. It is unfamiliar territory and being far from home means that nobody is around to guide her on her way, “Today she made her own path, bouncing this way and that way”. This portrays that Myop does not know where she is going, she is starting to make her own way in life and does not need an adult to guide her. It also shows that Myop is again, moving further away from home and the safety of her usual environment and it is leading to a darker and abnormal place in which Myops world, does not exist.
Again, Alice Waler describes the setting to build up to a climactic event,” By twelve o’clock”. This mirrors Myop’s progress- at midday the sun is at its warmest yet Myop is walking towards a dark place where no light is shining through. Walker continues to build he climactic event when she says “she was a mile or more from home”. This leaves the reader asking themselves ‘Is this too far for a ten year old?’ Also the quote “The air was damp” illustrates that the surroundings were unpleasant and frightening and to emphisise this, the quote “the silence was close and deep” creates tention and gives a sense that it is a well hidden environment that is extremely quiet and deserted.
Again symbolism is linked with setting in conveying the idea that innocence and beauty are threatened, “vaguely keeping an eye out for snakes”. This reminds us of the Garden of Eden when the devil disguised