In maru, what is the significance of yellow daisies? 

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kapokkid eNotes educator| Certified Educator

At the very beginning of the novel, the reader is introduced to the scene of Maru getting beds ready in which he can cultivate yellow daisies.  These flowers are particularly important to him "because they were the only flowers which resembled the face of his wife and the sun of his love."  But the symbolism works on several levels beyond the obvious.

Maru has given up his right to be the chief of his clan because he was so desperate to give up the old ways and have Margaret as his wife. And just as he gave up his heritage and his path to power in order to have her, Margaret has become a simple albeit beautiful object as well.  She gives up her own heritage in order to be with him, something unthinkable previously. She also gives up much of the heritage she gained in living with and being raised by her English adoptive mother so that at the end of the story (chronologically) she too is nothing but a pretty face.

Yet these sacrifices are perhaps necessary for the negative aspects of both societies to be destroyed.  Some critics have argued that there is nothing left to Margaret but her physical beauty, that she has given up so much of what made her feel alive and valuable.  Yet she learns to love Maru and their shared sacrifices again appear to be necessary on the road to breaking down the old barriers and allowing a less prejudiced and more open world to blossom.