According to the narrator, the name Azucena means "lily". Why do you think the author might have given her this name?

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gbeatty's profile pic

gbeatty | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

When considering why this character might be called Lily, we need to consider two things: the role the character plays, and the standard symbolism associated with flowers and especially lilies. Lily is buried in the mud. Only her head is exposed. The president calls her ‘‘an example to the nation,’’ but she doesn't know why. She's innocent, and after a few days, she dies.



Flowers are rooted in the dirt, like Lily. They live a brief time and then die. The lily is associated with purity and death, and these two factors shape Lily's life.

hussainzord's profile pic

hussainzord | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) eNoter

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Lilies are a national symbol in many places such as in India, all that they represent is hope and determination that will bring change in the lives of many. I conclude by saying the lilies are flowers that inspire not only people but also the system to adapt vital changes into it.

karenedith5's profile pic

karenedith5 | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

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Well i believe that the author gave Azucena the flower name of "lily" because a lilly represents purity,grace,nobility, etc; however, lillies are also known to represent death.

Knowing these facts, I can conclude that Azucena was a girl who was pure and innocent and a tragedy happens and she ends up dying. 

glad2day's profile pic

glad2day | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

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I think it is much more symbolic than just a flower that grows in dirt and putity and death.   In the first paragraph it says "the vast cemetery beneath" and at the end of the 6th paragraph it says, "it was not just the rubble, that she was also held by the bodies of her brothers and sisters clinging to her legs."  Lillies adorn chruch alters all over the world at Easter.  The fact that the name means lily is symbolic of the transformation from death to life as is celebrated at Easter.  Rolf Carle character transformed when he came into contact with lilly.  Everyone watching was transformed. 

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