“The Flowers” By Alice Walker – Analysis

1.How do you interpret the final line of the story? What is the effect of the brevity of that sentence?

“And the summer was over.” This, the final line, comes after the realization that the main (and only) character, Myop, has stumbled across something no girl should leisurely stumble across. The shortness of the sentence indicates that in no short order Myop was forced to grow up. Her summer was no longer a day full of skipping, playing, picking flowers, or making music with sticks. She had stumbled across something that at first intrigued her when she “gazed around the spot with interest” but quickly turned to a realization of remorse or sadness when she “laid down her flowers”.

2. Describe the atmosphere and tone of the first three paragraphs. What emotions do they produce concerning Myop’s childhood?

The emotions are full of excitement and positive explorations. Myop “skipped lightly” and the harvested food “caused little tremors to run up her jaws”.  As she went about her day “she felt light and good in the warm sun”.

3. How might paragraph 5 be described as an example of foreshadowing?

 

Certainly toward the end of paragraph 5 readers can gather that the story is about to take  a turn. Myop is further from home, in a strange land, and in an especially gloomy little cove. I think this sets up for the reader that there will be a change in tone in the story.

4. What is the conflict of the story? What is its climax? Is there a resolution to the conflict? Explain.

Exposition – Background information the reader needs to make sense of the situation in which the character is placed

Rising action – A complication that intensifies the situation

Conflict – Struggle between opposing forces.

Climax – The moment of greatest emotional tension.

Resolution – The denouement of the conflict.

Therefore, if I had to guess, I think the conflict in this story is when “she stepped smack into his eyes”. The climax is when she realizes the realizes when the body that was now decayed on the ground had once been hung in the tree. The resolution came, “Myop laid down her flowers. And the summer was over.”

5. What do you think is the central point of this story?

I think that this is a story about a loss of innocence and being forced to grow up. I also think there is an added layer of sadness when one considers how closely this crime was committed near the girl’s home (a more or more from her home) and how an event like this would shatter her sense of security.

 

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