How has the garden broken down prejudices and created a sanctuary in the community?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Seedfolks, the garden becomes a symbol for what individuals can do with nothing more than the effot to care about something larger than themselves.  Kim's independent project to seek connection to a father who never saw her becomes a community rallying point for others who seek to make something out of nothing.  Fleischman's choice of the garden as a symbol is noteworthy.  Gardening involves taking something that was deemed to be nothing and making into an object of meaning that can appeal to all individuals.  This process of transformation is what each character undergoes. From the janitor who starts to water it for sustenance and then seeks to plant something of his own, to the nosy neighbor who decides to step outside of her own sense of self to help another, to the community activist who sees the garden as casting a positive force in a setting replete with neglect and disrepair, individuals step outside of their own sphere of existence, their own paradigm of evaluation, and their own preconceived notions in channeling their energy to this garden.  In the final analysis, the convergence and creation of community has been facilitated in the desire to care for something universal, outside of one's sense of self, and in the process, established a note of haven in what is a heartless world.