The Flowers By Alice Walker

What is the meaning of The Flowers by Alice Walker?

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“The Flowers,” by Alice Walker, is a story about the loss of childhood innocence. The main character, a young girl named Myop, is enjoying a summer morning by gathering flowers when she stumbles upon the decaying body of a man who has been lynched. Myop can no longer be protected from the harsh realities of racial violence and this traumatic event means that her childhood, like the summer, is now over.


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As the previous answers have noted, The Flowers is a story of childhood innocence, and the loss of that innocence due to the hash realities of the world. However, it is in many ways a story of protest against classically held ideas and standards. Alice Walker builds an elaborate picture of the innocence through symbolic imagery of light versus dark descriptors and scenery. From the onset of the story, Alice Walker sets the tone of the story as sweet, innocent and childlike by stating, 

She felt light and good in the warm sun... She was 10, and nothing existed for her but her song, the stick clutched...

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