Explain the theme of the loss of innocence in "The Flowers" by Alice Walker and what the theme shows. The theme of loss of innocence in "The Flowers" by Alice Walker

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This very short, short story surely packs a punch in the end.  The simple title of "The Flowers" starts the reader on a positive note and the majority of the descriptions in the first paragraph seem to carry that forward.  But starting even as early as the 2nd paragraph, the reader starts to, perhaps, perceive that not everything is idyllic in the story.  Myop travels beyond her usual boundaries, suggesting that she is leaving the known for the unknown.  This kind of travel is often a suggestion of loss of innocence.  When Myop continues her walk and collects pretty flowers we still think that she is in a state of innocence, but when she picks the pink rose and steps into the human skull, we realize that not only is the skull now shattered, so is her innocence.  She is literally looking at the face of death.  She lays her flowers down in a gesture of respect for the dead, but, when she looks up and sees what remains of the noose, the last of her innocence is gone.  She now realizes that she looking not only at death, but the cruel racial violence of a lynching.  The last sentence clearly indicates a complete end of summer, but the meaning is the complete end of innocence for Myop.

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