What do you learn in the introductory paragraphs of the story "The Flowers?"

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The first paragraph of the story introduces us to its little protagonist , Myop. As soon as we read the name Myop, we try to draw its association with the word ‘myopia’ or ‘myopic.’ According to Oxford Dictionary ‘myopia’ means the quality of being short-sighted or lack of foresight or...

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The first paragraph of the story introduces us to its little protagonist, Myop. As soon as we read the name Myop, we try to draw its association with the word ‘myopia’ or ‘myopic.’ According to Oxford Dictionary ‘myopia’ means the quality of being short-sighted or lack of foresight or intellectual insight.

Though we may fail to grasp the significance of her name at the beginning, yet we know it foreshadows the future events of the story.

Besides, the introductory paragraphs acquaint us with Myop’s innocent perception of the world around her. They familiarize us with what constitute the world of the ten-year-old girl. Hen house, pigpen, fields of corn and cotton, peanuts and squash, “warm sun,” her song, chickens and flowers and her mother are what complete her world.

Consider the way the author begins her story:

It seemed to Myop… that the days had never been as beautiful as these.

The clause it seemed to Myop” implies it only appeared to her that the world was all beautiful and blotless; however, the truth was starkly different. Very soon, she was going to confront its true and appalling face.

Myop finds “each day” to be “a golden surprise.” The narrator says,

"…nothing existed for her but her song, the stick clutched in her dark brown hand, and the tat-de-ta-ta-ta of accompaniment,…”

Through these details, the author subtly exposes Myop’s vulnerability to confronting the cruel and hideous face of the world. So, we see that the introductory paragraphs build up the mood of the story and foreshadow future events.

It's through these details that the author is able to accentuate the tragic effect at the moment when the idyllic world of this little darling gets shattered, leaving her aghast.

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