Marigolds Questions and Answers
by Eugenia Collier

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How is Miss Lottie affected by Lizabeth emotionally when she destroyed the marigolds in the short story "Marigolds"?

In Eugenia Collier's story “Marigolds,” Miss Lottie responds to Lizabeth's destruction of her carefully, lovingly tended marigolds with numb sadness. She has poured all her energy and most of herself into that bright patch of flowers, which is the only beauty and joy in her life. With the marigolds destroyed, she no longer has the strength plant them again, and she lives out her days in barren dullness.

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It's hardly an exaggeration to say that Miss Lottie lived for her marigolds. They were about the only thing in an otherwise sad and lonely life that gave her a reason to get out of bed each morning. So when Lizabeth willfully destroys Miss Lottie's flowers, Miss Lottie has no joy and beauty left in her life.

As one can imagine, Miss Lottie is utterly devastated by the completely uncalled-for destruction of her pride and joy. Yes, Miss Lottie still has a son to love and to whom she can now perhaps devote more attention. But as John is mentally disabled, one gets the impression that Miss Lottie experiences difficulties in caring for him. Perhaps tending to her marigolds gave her some brief respite from the many challenges life presented her with.

In any case, with the destruction of her marigolds, all joy and beauty have now gone out of Miss Lottie's life completely, never to return. Not only that, but whatever energy she may have had has been sucked right out of her by Lizabeth's cruel...

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