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"The Flowers" and "Shaving"

In “The Flowers” and “Shaving” both authors at the beginning of both stories use symbols about joy and happiness, these symbols change during the stories. It’s like a parabola beginning with joy, it gets to a maximum point that’s the climax and then it declines to sadness, help and mercy. Symbols in the story are small details that give the reader an implicit idea of innocence, happiness or melancholy. This ideas makes the audience fell as if they were inside the story, a viewer of a movie that’s rolling in your head.

“The Flowers” is like a fairy tale, a nice place with a brightful sun that shines in the green grass, a wonderful blue sky that contrasts with a lifeful forest and with the lovely flowers that look incredible, everything is so unbelievable. All around is so pure and genuine it gives an idea of happiness, peace and innocence. But this description isn’t made only with the environment.

Myop, the character of the story, takes an important place in the formation of the wonderful day description, the author shows the joy of this girl “It seemed to Myop as she skipped lightly from hen house to pigpen to smokehouse that the days had never been as beautiful as these.” Alice Walker then makes you know that your idea of a fairy tale is right and that her written girl felt inside of one of this type of stories.

Myop was a colored skin girl who didn’t had any bad thinking of life, either from the world.

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But this day was special for her, she was going out alone, she was going to know the real world by her self “The air held a keenness that made her nose twitch. The harvesting of the corn and cotton, peanuts and squash, made each day a golden surprise that caused excited little tremors to run up her jaws”

She felt free and serene, light and good, “and nothing existed for her but her song.”

The climax of this story begins to approach, Myop’s innocence and happiness enters in danger. She found a dead body that was lying in the forest, a corp full of blood. Still she makes an act of ingenuity, she brings him a flower.

The flower is a symbol that characterize this subject, it’s a symbol of a feeling such as love, peace, hope, memorance, etc. Although this could have a negative symbolism, Alice Walker plays with the meanings of her symbols, leaving the reader give the definition of each. Eventhough all this act of Myop could mean a very important thing, the lost of her innocence and her special happiness. The idea of joy of the beginning it’s now gone, sadness stay as left.

“Shaving” shows the same type of innocence and joy in a different context. The innocence is shown in Barry. Barry is a boy that is the same as Myop, who know so little of the real world, even though he is not as inexperienced because he lives the way he wants to. Barry has noble feelings he even doesn’t know evil, that’s innocence.

Barry was a happy and active boy who was growing old “Barry was now a big, tall, strongly made, his hands and feet were adult and heavy, the rooms in which all his life he’d moved had grown small for him.” Barry was an “unimportant boy, one of a swarming gang laughing and jostling to school.” Although that with his physical appearance he could be part of a rebel and violent gang, he was a boy with noble feelings, with a humble thinking, he had a pure soul.

This is still a much better way of showing innocence indirectly, he lives in a world that’s polluted a city with many dangers. Still, Barry remains with good thinking, a diamond in the mud.

Symbols are all around, even though you don’t perceive them. Na�ve symbols that carry lot of weigh in the story, symbols such as flowers, sick or dead people, seasons, the environment, everything is a symbol that means a lot.

Spring is a symbol of rebirth. The rebirth of a new year with new hope, that’s what “Shaving” is about, the rebirth of a hope, the new wishes of the year. Leave the past in the lost memories. Instead “Flowers” is in summer, the splendid beauty, the time of happiness and love, summer is the peak of the year, joy and diversion is related. This happiness will go away only with the end of its creator. When the peak of happiness realize the common of life, dead. Summer is now dead.

Spring in “Shaving” it’s very important “he could fell the spring warmth on his back through the thick tweed of his coat.” This meant the cold was away, sad and boring days had passed, and now hotness and happiness will continue. The same meaning had Spring in the “Flowers”

The dead body and the sick father are the same symbol, the loose of innocence, the new life that will be come next. Life changes and not everything can be nice as it was. Myop and Barry realized now the reality of where they were living, that’s what this means.

“Flowers” and “Shaving” means the same even though they are different situations. The disrupted innocence, the change of character in the same person. This is not directly showed by the authors, they use symbols for representing these ideas.

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"The Flowers" and "Shaving". (2020, Jun 02). Retrieved from

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