In The Flowers by Alice Walker, what does the noose represent?

Expert Answers info

Jennifer Carnevale, M.A. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseCollege Lecturer, Teacher (K-12)

bookB.S. from Salem State College

bookM.A. from Simmons College


calendarEducator since 2019

write115 answers

starTop subject is Literature

As with most interpretations of Walker's "The Flowers," the noose represents the harsh reality Myop is now perceiving. The noose creates Myop's loss of innocence, but its symbolic representation extends far beyond childhood growing pains. While it is the literal object that awakens Myop from her naivety, it suggests a longer symbolic lineage of racism, prejudice, and violence against black folk and people of color that extended beyond the abolishment of slavery. There may be beautiful imagery surrounding the noose and the man's body, but this juxtaposition illuminates the very real history of slavery and violence on people of color in the US.

The majority of the short story has a light and airy tone that reflects Myop's joy and liberty as she wanders off to pick beautiful flowers. This is Myop's innocence. But when Myop literally stumbles upon the body, she slowly recognizes the harsh reality of racism and her lineage. The noose represents the generational trauma of black folk who were...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 678 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

brandyhwilliams eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2015

write36 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and Business

check Approved by eNotes Editorial