What does Myop's name add to the other features of her characterization in "The Flowers" by Alice Walker?

Expert Answers info

Margarete Abshire eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseTeacher (K-12)


calendarEducator since 2016

write953 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

"Myop" is an unusual name and perhaps is short for "Myopia," which is the condition of being near-sighted. We're not given any information about Myop's name; perhaps it was chosen because the word sounded pretty. It's also possible that her parents didn't know what it meant.

Walker's choice of name for her character is significant because it reinforces a central theme of this short piece: Myop, unable to see the "larger picture" of her life as a sharecropper, concentrates on the small things around her that give her joy—like the flowers, the quality of the air in the morning, and the satisfaction she gets from tapping out a beat with her stick.

Of course the best example of her lack of vision is her stumbling over the corpse of the lynched man. Walker's final line, that "summer is over," is ominous and suggests that Myop's time of happiness is coming to an end.

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Jay Gilbert, Ph.D. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseCollege Lecturer

bookB.A. from University of Oxford

bookM.A. from University of Oxford

bookPh.D. from University of Leicester


calendarEducator since 2017

write2,169 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Law and Politics

"Myop" is a name which seems to have been invented by Alice Walker for the purposes of this story, which gives some indication of...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 656 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

mwestwood eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2006

write16,149 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial