Losing Childhood Innocence
Alice Walker writes the short story “The Flowers” about a little ten year old girl named Myop who in the beginning of the story is enjoying her day outside around her family’s sharecropper cabin picking flowers and just enjoying the day any other child would in the time of summer. As going down farther into the woods outside her house, she steps into a skull of a dead body. Without any hesitation or reaction, Myop simply lays down the flowers she had picked on him and leaves. The story might seem simple but Alice Walker lays downs a very deep meaning into this small piece of text. She creates a clear and vivid description of Myop’s lifestyle as if it were somewhat like a journey every child takes in their lives. Myop starts from being a normal little innocent girl to making discoveries one makes as they observe life and faces difficulties like everyone and learns to overcome them and then finally maturing quicker than her age and facing the cruel world and accepting what life has to offer.
Other girls also faced this hardship during this time, the time of racial discrimination and racial violence, tearing up their childhood innocent youths into pieces and forcing them to mature quickly, facing and having to accept what life had to offer at that time no matter if they were ready for it or not. Alice Walker portrays these dreadful impacts on the innocent child’s life perfectly due to the past experiences she had also faced in her childhood and uses Myop perfectly to show it.
In the beginning of the story Myop was introduced just the way any other child would be, happy, carefree and outside playing and “skip[ing]” around on a day that “had never been as beautiful as [that]…” Walker effectively establishes a perfect tone and setting that any child would have faced or dreamt of facing in his/her life before. Again, she talks about the perfect beautiful day that had a “golden surprise that caused excited little tremors to run up her jaws.” Almost about every child has those good childhood days in the beginning of their childhood and then they go out and explore and venture around in the world to understand the point of life. And Myop “explor[ing] the woods behind the house” was the first step she took on her journey of understanding life. The entire first three paragraphs are used to explain the beginning of Myop’s innocent journey into “the woods behind the house…”, first with “her mother [taking] her to gather nuts…” in other words, gathering knowledge together and then that day “[making] her own path…”, “explor[ing] the woods behind the house”, also meaning, exploring the real world outside her house by herself.
Along the beginning of the fourth paragraph, Walker displays a few understandings of life Myop wanted to pick up on her trip using “sprigs of her findings” as illustration. In the middle and the end of paragraph four, Walker illustrates vaguely more and more on Myop’s journey and how Myop “…keep[s] an eye out...