Homework Help

What is the meaning of The Flowers by Alice Walker?

user profile pic

tina22 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 4, 2007 at 1:32 AM via web

dislike 3 like

What is the meaning of The Flowers by Alice Walker?

2 Answers | Add Yours

user profile pic

Jamie Wheeler | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

Posted April 7, 2007 at 5:53 AM (Answer #1)

dislike 0 like

First, begin by thinking of the significance of the little girl's name. Myop is short for "myopia" a eye condition where one cannot see things far away (near-sightedness). Little Myop cannot see beyond the beauty of her carefree childhood.

However, one summer morning her romping takes her farther from home than she'd ever been before, a whole mile. She does not realize (due to her myopia) the remains of a hanged man until she quite literally bumps into him.

That the man was a laborer is clear from "some threads of blue denim" from his overalls and the "shredding plowline" that is found in the earth nearby. The brutality of his death is uncovered in the details: "large white teeth, all of them cracked or broken" indicates that he had been beaten before his murder. He had been left and forgotten for so long that he had literally rotted away, his severed head lying horrifically beside his decomposing body.

The story concludes with "And the summer was over." The young negro girl has lost her innocence, her myopia.


user profile pic

hanwar | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted October 4, 2010 at 8:34 AM (Answer #2)

dislike 0 like

the meaning or the theme is that myop has grown up from her childhood, since she layed the flowers down.

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes