In "The Flowers," by Alice Walker, why is it ironic that the protagonist lays down the flowers? 

Expert Answers info

teachsuccess eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2015

write3,263 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Law and Politics

In the story, Myop only lays down her flowers after she discovers the noose. Prior to this, she notices a wild, pink rose she wants to add to her collection of flowers. In the act of lifting up the rose from the soil, however, she discovers the rotted remains of a noose.

Eventually, she also discovers another piece of rope clinging to the overhanging branches of an oak tree. Both pieces of rope seem to be connected to the death of the stranger before her. It is only after the second rope discovery that Myop lays down her flowers. The symbolism of her action cannot be argued: Myop is laying down her innocence forever. The question begs to be asked: why does Myop lay down her flowers?

We can speculate that Myop may have wished to leave behind any reminder of the grim sight she has just seen. From this vantage point, her action then becomes an ironic one. If she is a sharecropper's daughter, she will have known (even at her young age) that lynchings are an extreme and unrelenting threat to...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 607 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Jason Lulos eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write3,297 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and Science

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial