What is the significance of the final sentence "and the summer was over" in Alice Walker's short story "The Flowers"?

The final sentence of Alice Walker's "The Flowers" is metaphoric. Myop's innocence is likened to summer, which ends when Myop discovers the remains of a Black man who was lynched.

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Ten-year-old Myop is cheerfully gathering flowers on a summer day, feeling happy and carefree. She goes into the woods she has explored many times before to search for more flowers. This time, she finds there the body of what was once a big, tall man. His clothes have rotted away, so he must have been dead for some time. She also finds remains of a noose, part of it lying near him and part of it still dangling from a tree. She realizes the man was lynched.

When the narrator states that summer ended for Myop in the last line, she is not speaking literally but metaphorically. It is still technically summer, but in this instance, Myop's innocence is being likened to summer. Her innocence ends when she finds the body. She can no longer be as warm, blooming, and carefree as she once was. A chill has come over her.

The story is making the point that Myop, like all Black people, carries with her the legacy of racism. Even in places she might think of as her own, ancestral fear lingers because...

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 975 words.)

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