The Flower and the Nettle Essay - Critical Essays

Anne Morrow Lindbergh


In The Flower and the Nettle, Lindbergh writes consistently about people and relationships. People inspire her actions, thoughts, and creativity. As she writes, “I long to see them and talk and laugh and feel the complete understanding, humor, delight in talking over things and that blooming of the person that is you, from being in the sun of such understanding.” From her relationships with people, Lindbergh draws strength and forms a sense of self. She believes that people accidentally leave crumbs of knowledge for others to find, and through those discoveries, individuals formulate self-identities.

Lindbergh is devoted to her husband and travels with him frequently. She continually praises his achievements and his discussions with government officials. She adores Charles much like a child idolizes a hero. Lindbergh explains that being in love is being able to accept everything that someone does because those actions are the essence of that person. Early in their marriage, Anne hesitated to disagree with Charles; she remained quiet and accepted his views. This silence is described as Lindbergh tells about a drive that she and Charles made during a rainstorm. He was driving too fast, but she would not express her fear. She grows out of this shyness, however, for by the end of the three years covered in The Flower and the Nettle, Lindbergh accepts that they can have differing views. She reveals a new confidence by permitting herself different views from Charles while still respecting and admiring him.

The family is of utmost importance in her life. She is devoted not only to her mother and sisters, as revealed by the letters and open communications that pass between them, but also to her own children. Lindbergh...

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