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Sample Narrative Technique Presentation ("The Flowers" by Alice Walker)

The Flowers by Alice Walker
by

Margana Fahey

on 7 November 2012

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Transcript of Sample Narrative Technique Presentation ("The Flowers" by Alice Walker)

by Alice Walker "The Flowers" Plot Summary The setting is the predominate element, as it influences the characterization and the plot.

The time period has much to do with Myop's view of the world.

Elements of setting are also symbolic (e.g. summer, flowers, cove, broken skull)

Myop adds to or affects the setting by laying down her flowers.

The changing of season, “...the summer was over” (405), represents the end of childhood. Predominate Element Four Corners Is ten too young to realize the horrors of racism and violence in the world? Analysis of the Main Character Point of View Setting Theme If in the 1900's losing your innocence meant realizing the horrors of racism, what do you think could make a child lose her innocence today? This story takes place in the southern United States.

The specification of sharecropping places this story in the early 20th century. Sharecropping – agricultural system which families worked a farm/ section of land in return for a share of the crop.

Walker lets readers know summer is ending and a new season is starting by talking about "harvesting" in the first paragraph.

This defines the atmosphere as cold yet calm, a time when trees are changing and air is crisp. This sets the mood for the story.

The atmosphere changes from happy, "beautiful," "golden" (204), and peaceful to a "rotted" (205) and twisted atmosphere near the end.

Walker carefully applies detail/illustration and imagery to bring the atmosphere to life...and show how it dies. There are many modern forms of and ways to lose one's innocence:
having a divorced family
being influenced by the media
being bullied Modern day loss of innocence: Alice Walker was born on February 9, 1944 in Putnam Country, Georgia.

Eighth child of Willie Lee Walker and Minnie Lou Tallulah.

Her father worked as sharecropper and her mother as a maid, to bring income into the family.

The time in which Alice Walker was raised was time of slavery and violent racism.

Her parents tried to keep Alice from realizing the truth about their life but she was keen on figuring it out.

Just like Alice Walker the main character, Myop, was also a young African girl who lived with her family of poor sharecroppers.

She too realized at a young age how cruel life can really be.

Some of Alice Walker's other works include: The Color Purple, The Third Life of Grange Copeland, By the Light of My Father's Smile, Now Is The Time To Open Your Heart, and The Temple of My Familiar. Walker develops the depth of Myop through both direct and indirect characterization:

She was ten.

The name Myop is a shortened version of the word "myopia" nearsightedness. She exhibits this at the start of the story.

When we see Myop skipping, humming, and picking up wild flowers in the first five paragraphs, this indicates her happiness.

Her character develops to include curiosity (paragraphs four and five) and wisdom, thoughtfulness, and maturity (last two full paragraphs).

Myop setting down her flowers near the dead body, conveyed in the second-to-last sentence of the story, shows her maturity. In doing this, she is giving up her summer, which also concludes the character’s innocence.

A once-innocent girl steps into the reality of life away from her safe and protected childhood.
QUIZ TIME!!!! And guess what.....there are cookies :) Summarize the story What is the Theme? Are there any other themes present? What symbolizes Myop's loss of innocence? "And the summer was over"
What does the author mean by this? When and where does this story take place? What does Myop's family do? What is the most predominant element? In the exposition, Walker introduces readers to Myop, a young African girl playing outside on a beautiful day full of "golden surprise" (404) as she sets out to enjoy the day, picking flowers in the woods. A conflict between Myop and society is suggested in the details of the world around her such as the "rusty boards of her family's sharecropper cabin" (404). The tension of the story--and Myop's discomfort in her surroundings--increases as she ventures farther out into the world, straying from the path known to her, "keeping an eye out for snakes" (404), and ending up "a mile or more from home" (405) in a "gloomy little cove" where the "air was damp, the silence close and deep" (405). The rising action reaches a climax when she decides to head back home, "to the peacefulness of the morning" (405), and the heel of her foot cracks through a man’s skull. This turning point is indicated by her "little yelp of surprise" (405) and her recognition of the details surrounding the man's dead body. The action falls as "Myop [lays] down her flowers" (405) to add what beauty and honor she could to the dead man's resting place. From that day forth, it is implied that Myop resolves to view the world and society around her with a less golden glow. Extending One's Thinking: Some flowers never die. The way the setting is used by the author communicates a theme of this story: that loss of innocence, like the ending of a season, can happen subtly but indicates definite change.

Myop changes from living a carefree, innocent life, represented by her skipping and picking flowers, to losing her innocence, represented by her laying the flowers on the dead man's chest, and being forever changed by what she has witnessed. "Beauty Pressure" video available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Ei6JvK0W60I#!
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