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Marigolds (Short Story #6)
Transcript of Marigolds (Short Story #6)
Meet The Author
•Eugenia W. Collier was born in 1928 in Maryland, the state in which “Marigolds” is set. A winner of the Gwendolyn Brooks Prize for Fiction, she has also taught English at Morgan State University, Baltimore Community College, and Howard University.
•Her poems have appeared in many anthologies.
Lizabeth- a 14 year old teenager who most of the time follows the crowd.
Miss Lottie- an old women who lives down the street from Lizabeth
Joey - eleven years old, and is a typical young boy who likes to play outside with the other kids in town; Lizabeth's brother
-Marigolds is about a 14 year-old girl during The Great Depression
-The moral of the story is think about the consequences of all of your actions and growing up.
- Lizabeth sees through the eyes of adulthood, and with eyes of compassion that the difference between childhood and maturity and that one cannot have both compassion and innocence in them.
The reason she threw the stones was because she was angry at the beauty of the marigolds.
Point of View
The story is told from a first person point of view as told by Lizabeth. The story shows the thoughts and feelings of the main character.
The conflicts of Marigolds are internal and external. The internal conflict is Lizabeth versus herself emotionally with innocence, compassion, growing up, and accepting responsibility. The external conflict involves Lizabeth and the poverty and rough times while growing up.
Themes And Symbols
Innocence: “Innocence involves an unseeing acceptance of things at face value, an ignorance of the area below the surface.” Lizabeth learns that when she destroys the marigolds, she is no longer innocent. She was no longer an innocent child; she was growing up. In the simple act of destroying Miss Lottie’s marigolds, she learns about maturing and accepting the responsibility of her actions.
Coming of Age
Coming of Age: “I scrambled to my feet and just stood there and stared at her, and that was the moment when childhood faded and womanhood began. That violent, crazy act was the last act of childhood.” Lizabeth had finally grown up enough to realize that her act of ripping out the marigolds was wrong. She had become a woman, in mind and in spirit. Her action had forced her to act and think like a woman, she was no longer a young girl.
Compassion: “In that humiliating moment I looked beyond myself and into the depths of another person. This was the beginning of compassion…”. When Lizabeth saw the look on Miss Lottie’s face, she realized what she did was wrong. She felt bad for Miss Lottie; she showed compassion toward the poor woman. She proved that she could regret her actions because of the sadness that she felt towards Mss Lottie.
“… one cannot have both compassion and innocence.”
From “Marigolds” by Eugenia W. Coller
•The Great Depression
•In the 1930s, a terrible economic depression swept the world. The booming stock market had collapsed in 1929, causing businesses to shut down all over the united states and factories to close their doors. Banks failed. People lost their life savings. Life was hard for almost every American during those years.
For this group Assignment:
You are an acting group , your themes will be either Innocence, Compassion, or coming of age. You will need to come up with a 3-8 minute skit and Act it out for the class. Whoever has the best skit for each theme will receive something special.
This story was fictional (not true). Students often think it’s a true story. Why does it come off to be so believable and real?