Introduce the work and its author in opening sentence; profile the key characters, the general setting; time and place and the mood Walker creates.Close with an explanation of the comic (favorable) or tragic (disheartening) nature of the story in terms of how Walker brings Myop's story to its close or resolution  

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Your instructor has provided for you a very clear outline of what he or she is looking for in your analysis of this short story. We here at enotes can't write the paper for you, but here are a few ideas to get you thinking.

Profile of key character: The only character is Myop, a young African-American girl living in "a sharecroppers cabin."

Setting: There are two or three settings that you could consider. The story opens at her cabin and the imagery of the crops being harvested. As she explores a little further from her home, it is described as a typical place in nature, but when she "goes further than she has ever gone before" nature is dark, humid and strange. The final setting is the actual resting place of the corpse. The most striking thing here is the pink rose growing from near where the skull and noose's knot are.

Mood: You should look at the difference in language between the bright yellow-orange sunny imagery of the opening paragraphs and the darker imagery of the scenery at the corpse. All of the imagery of the flowers she finds and her reaction to her surroundings suggest her awareness of this place being different from home, but still a place that could have beauty within it.

The ending of the story: This is the most interesting and complex aspect of this story. The juxtaposition of the pink rose and the remains of the hanged man, most likely a victim of a lynching long ago, provides Myop with her moment of new maturity, especially noted when she lays down her gathered flowers as a gesture of respect for the dead. This loss of innocence isn't tragic, it is expected. The death of the man is tragic, but the fact that nature "buried" the man and that something beautiful can literally grow from something awful is certainly suggestive of hope.

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