Who is the narrator Lizabeth of Marigolds speaking to when she writes "...as I desperately pass away the time waiting for you, who will not come."?For my 7th Grade English class, we have formulated...

Who is the narrator Lizabeth of Marigolds speaking to when she writes "...as I desperately pass away the time waiting for you, who will not come."?

For my 7th Grade English class, we have formulated an answer that I'd like to share, but we'd love to hear other opinions first.  In all the analysis of this story on the web, I have yet to find any speculation about the narrator Lizabeth's mysterious reference.

Asked on by quiqweig

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accessteacher's profile pic

accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

My edition of the story (in "Elements of Literature - Third Course") only has "I remember them vividly now as I desperately pass away the time..." to end the second paragraph.

Interesting difference... I guess I read it as the (much) older Elizabeth looking back fondly on her childhood whilst she is trying to fill her days with actions.

Based on your quote, however, my first reaction to seeing it was that she was speaking to her earlier, pre-end-of-innocence self - wanting to regain that childhood innocence, that time when she had "an unseeing acceptance of things at face value, an ignorance of the area below the surface." Let's face it - life was much less complicated and didn't involve the emotions that the narrator experiences at the end of the story - "ashamed", "humiliating moment" and "wild contrition". 

hortonm's profile pic

hortonm | High School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

I suspect the omission of any information about whom she's waiting for is deliberate. What matters is the waiting, the fact that she's opened herself up to hope and disappointment. Just as Miss Lottie dared to plant the marigolds in the dust and risk their destruction, the narrator "too, [has] planted marigolds," and has hopes knowing they may be fruitless.

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