Alice Walker The Flowers Essay

Paragraph three, however, marks a small yet significant shift in the passage.Walker begins the paragraph with "Turning her back on the rusty boards of her family's sharecropper cabin, Myop..." Myop's world is not behind her, but moves forward to the familiar woods.

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Myop's family lives and works on a farm by mention of their 'sharecropper's cabin.' This detail also helps create a sense of the timeframe as sharecropping came about after the American Civil War during the Jim Crow law era from the mid-1860s to 1960s.

Sharecroppers were poor, typically black folks who worked and lived on an owner's land in exchange for a portion of the crops they harvested.

Myop, the main character, "skipped lightly." Walker describes the harvests, which evince "excited little tremors" in Myop as she anticipates the new day.

This jocund diction continues into the second paragraph.

"Stepping smack into his eyes," Myop encounters death, but is unafraid as she "frees herself." She is filled with innocent curiosity and gazes "around the spot with interest." Ironically, as she picks her "wild pink rose," a symbol of beauty, she spots the noose and has her epiphany.

The transition in image, setting, and diction all propel Walker's theme--the coming of age.

Essay Question: In a well-organized essay discuss how Alice Walker conveys the meaning of "The Flowers" and how she prepares the reader for the ending of this short story.

Consider at least two elements of the writer's craft such as imagery, symbol, setting, narrative pace, diction, and style.

"..days had never been as beautiful as a golden surprise." Surprise is the element Alice Walker presents in her story "The Flowers." It is at the heart of the meaning of this story which is driven forward by imagery, setting, and diction.

In the beginning of the story, Walker utilizes diction that creates an atmosphere of euphoric childhood innocence.


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