I have to analyze the short story "The Flowers" by Alice Walker into a literary essay. I am returning back to school after 20 years and I need some help and guidance. Please let me know if the paragraphs need more detail.
Alice Walker, who was born in Eatonton, Georgia in 1944, is a Pulitzer Prize winning author. Walker's creative vision is taken from her past experiences and she uses them in her novels. "The Flowers," a short story from the collection titled In Love and Trouble: Stories of Black Women, was written about Myop a ten year old African American girl who's parents were poor sharecroppers in rural Georgia during a heightened time of racial violence.
The story is about a young girl's sudden fall from innocence. Myop is happy and
carefree as she skips around her family's cabin playing with the animals. She does not look beyond the splendor of her free and comfortable childhood. On this day she decides to explore the woods as she had done many times with her mother in late autumn while gathering nuts.
Myop then leaves the safety and peacefulness of her family's sharecropper cabin to search for new and wonderful flowers. This summer morning she makes her own path and finds herself about a mile from home in unfamiliar surroundings. The cove she had come upon was gloomy, damp and had a mysterious silence.
In her quest to recapture the happiness of the morning, and find her way back to her cabin, she stumbles onto the remains of a man who had clearly been killed in a lynching. She sees the brittleness of his death when she discovered his "large white teeth, all of them cracked or broken" showing that might have been beaten before his murder. She then looks up at a tree and sees the rotted remains of a noose. "Myop laid down her flowers" was a sign of releasing her youthfulness, as she was forced to face one of the most violent forms of racism. The destruction of her childhood innocence was recognized at the end of the story with the statement "And the summer was over."
Alice Walker dramatically shows what impact it is on a child and how quickly she can loose her childhood innocence with the realization of how prominent racial violence was in rural Georgia during segregation.