Flowers: Summer and Alice Walker Essay

Submitted By pvalencia
Words: 1105
Pages: 5


Valencia 1

Paola Valencia
Professor Alves
Eng 102 D13E
Oct,18 2013
Myop’s Journey to Adulthood


In “The Flowers” a short story by Alice Walker, Myop is faced with extreme

changes for a ten year old girl. Through out the entire story we see various symbols and drastic changes in scenery. These drastic changes are what pushes our main character into adulthood. Alice Walker uses opposing images to show how Myop is faced with the loss of her innocence.

Right away we can see the symbolism behind the setting. The story starts off on

a sunny summer day, for most children summer time tends to represent freedom. The one time of the year that revolves mostly around them. Just like Myop, most children tend to be carefree and only care about enjoying themselves. In the second paragraph we get a feel for Myop carefree spirit. We get a sense of Myop’s still intact innocence for she believes she’s the center of her own little world. “She was ten, and nothing existed for her but her song, the stick clutched in her dark brown hand, and the tat-de-ta-ta-ta of her accompaniment,”(Walker 18). The name Myop is another form of symbolism Walker inserts into her story. Myop is an abbreviation for myopia lack of foresight and narrow view. Which all kids have until they are faced with the reality, that they too must grew up. Myop’s name will never change but her lack of foresight on reality will, she will be able to see without her innocence to filter whats really around her.

As all children do, they find comfort in the arms of family or more specifically the

mother figure. That safety net children feel when they are around that specific person,


Valencia 2

for Myop that was her mom. As we get older we start to let go of this safety net our parents represent. We see Myop’s naive need to slowly break free without a full understanding of what that means. “Turning her back on the rusty boards of her family’s sharecropper cabin,”(Walker 18). We see Myop turning her back on what see knows, what’s familiar to her to take on the unknown. With the unknown can come fear of the unexpected, the unseen. As a child Myop isn’t familiar with the cruel world around her and what can be found not too far from home a place that preserved her innocence intact. As an for the second quote we also can see the eagerness of Myop to let go of the need of her mothers protection to break free from it. “Often, in late autumn, her mother took her to gather nuts among the fallen leaves. Today she made her path,”(Walker 18). Just like adults, children want to be free to feel free and by Myop taking the decision of going out into the forest by herself she is slowly starting to shed her innocence. Myop feels she no longer needs her mothers protection like the old
Myop would need it. She feels ready in her own way to take on the unknown.

Walking along the forest Myop finds herself stoping to pick up flowers that catch

her attention. To Myop flowers bring happiness their bright colors and silky petals, But besides happiness flowers have many meaning like respect for the dead. The respect
Myop felt for the corpse she found, and the innocence she left behind with him. The combination of wild flowers Myop picked can represent an specific childhood memory she is letting go off, as she gets ready to step into adulthood. Memories are something we hold onto, but with the memories we create in our childhood come things we cant no longer do like Myop does. Myop comes across may flowers some which are familiar to her like her life in her family’s little farm, but she also runs into new wild flowers which


Valencia 3

are new and unknown to her. For Myop that unknown was about to be adulthood, a new chapter in her life full of new things that weren’t always going to be positive.

As Myop begins to explore her surrounding she starts to become aware of the

unknown territory she now is in. “She