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Marigolds Summary

What is a plot summary for "Marigolds" by E. Collier?

In "Marigolds" by E. Collier, a young black girl named Lizabeth begins destroying the marigolds of a neighbor, Miss Lottie, is chased off, and feels ashamed of her actions. That night, when she hears her father crying because of their desperate financial situation and lack of hope, in a fit of rage and emotional turmoil, she returns and destroys the rest of the marigolds. Later, she is able to recognize the beauty and importance of the marigolds.

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The story's protagonist is a young black girl, about the age of fourteen, though she narrates the story after the events have already taken place, and her perspective as an adult has helped her to make sense of the feelings that overwhelmed her then. Thus, she is a first person objective narrator: a participant in the story who tells it after the story's events have concluded. She lives in Maryland, in a community that has only been marginally affected by the Great Depression because their community was already so economically depressed. There seems no hope for things to improve, no belief in the American Dream that white people seemed to have. Her life is poverty.

As kids do, she and her friends have identified one neighbor as particularly weird, a woman who lives in the most decrepit home in the community, Miss Lottie, and they plague and harass the old woman. One summer day, the kids are bored, and the narrator, Lizabeth, leads the charge against Miss Lottie's marigolds, the only spot...

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