Lingering Past: The Flowers By Alice Walker

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Lingering Past In “The Flowers,” Alice Walker narrates the day on which a young African American girl has her life changed by a creepy, yet seemingly inoffensive event. After a lovely summer day, the protagonist, Myop, comes across the body of a dead man who was apparently killed by lynching. Such experience is a representation of Myop’s loss of innocence and transition into the adult world, as connoted by the symbolism used, as well as by an abrupt change in tone and imagery towards the end. Most importantly, however, is that through this atypical coming-of-age story, Walker explores a theme that is often neglected, even conveniently made into a taboo: lynching. Walker reminds her reader that, although lynching is no longer common practice,…show more content…
Her reaction to finding the skeleton was just a ”little yelp of surprise,” but a closer look at the corpse allowed Myop to notice some crucial details: “his head lay beside him.... Myop saw that he'd had large white teeth, all of them cracked or broken.... All his clothes had rotted away except some threads of blue denim from his overalls.” The man’s broken teeth, as well as the fact that his head was not connected to his neck the way it should, provided signs of violence, and his blue denim overalls indicated that he probably worked in the fields, just like Myop’s parents. Then, “very near where she'd stepped into the head was a wild pink rose. As she picked it to add to her bundle she noticed a raised mound, a ring, around the rose's root. It was the rotted remains of a noose, a bit of shredding plowline, now blending benignly into the soil.” The gruesome experience of finding remains of a dead body did not seem to affect her as much as finding remains of a noose. Upon coming across the first, “she gazed around the spot with interest” and continued to pick flowers, but finding the latter brought her awareness of not only violence and death, but of hatred directed at people like her. Like the man’s clothing, the fact that the noose was made out of plowline instead of simply rope also serves to create a connection and a sense of empathy between…show more content…
1. This picture was taken at the scene of a lynching. The victim was digitally removed from the photograph. (Gonzales-Day The Wonder Gaze) has left are deep and represent some of the worst facets of society. Other artists have shared similar feelings. Nona Hendryx, for instance, has performed “Strange Fruit” multiple times, adding in parts of Martin Luther King Jr.'s famous "I Have A Dream" speech. The following passage is quoted from an interview in which she revealed how she felt about performing such song: "it's a cathartic performance for me to do that song. It's like healing, and healing's what happens. And hopefully it can reach the ears and the minds and the hearts of people who are still feeling any bigotry, hatred, racism, to understand that this was a painful time in our history, in our past and in America. And that we need to move on from there." Trying to forget and to turn the discussion of lynching into a taboo does no good to those who are still impacted by it, and everyone should be included in this category, since the perpetrators’ descendants have just as much to ponder and to learn from this. Furthermore, racism still exists, and blacks, latinos and other minorities still struggle with social inequality and

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