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“Flowers” by Alice Walker


The piece written by Alice Walker is a short story about a 10-year-old girl named Myop, who turned from a carefree child into a person understanding the cruel realities of life in one day. The child was walking through the area she was living in to explore the beautiful land (Walker). However, while doing it, she came across a terrible finding, which made her aware of the world in which she was living. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the theme of departing innocence revealed in the story.

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The reader cannot assume the theme of the writing right away since, in the beginning, the author immerses the audience in a peaceful and happy atmosphere. Myop walks through the farm where her family lives and skips “lightly from hen house to pigpen to smokehouse” (Walker). The girl plays, sings, and picks wildflowers, and the reader understands that Myop feels at peace with the world around her. During her walk, she becomes so carried away that she finds herself a “mile or more from home” (Walker). However, the farther away she goes, the harsher the reality becomes.

The author unveils the theme of the loss of innocence when the girl comes across the body of a deceased man. Being a naive and kind child, Myop decides to pick up the flower she sees near the dead person. However, the reality strikes Myop and takes her innocence away when she realizes the man has been hanged. Together with Myop, the reader assumes that the dead man has been lynched. In the end, the girl “laid down her flowers” to pay respects to the victim (Walker). When Myop sees the remains of the snooze, she loses her innocence completely, and she is no longer the innocent and careless child she used to be. The last sentence of the story indicates that the brutal reality full of violence and racial discrimination is the place in which the girl will live from now on.


Thus, it can be concluded that the theme of the loss of innocence is revealed gradually in the story. By walking farther away from home, Myop realizes that the world she lives in is far from a peaceful place. The reader deconstructs the theme during the journey made by the main heroine. The more the girl understands the way the man died, the less innocent she becomes. The complete loss of innocence occurs when she realizes that the man was the victim of a lynch mob.

Work Cited

Walker, Alice. “The Flowers.” Theliterarylink, Web.

Planning Guide


The loss of innocence by a child, who came across the dead body of a man. The child loses her innocence completely when she realizes the deceased person is the victim of discrimination.

Specific examples from the story where this theme is present

  1. Innocence: “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” (Walker). “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” (Walker).
  2. The shift in mood occurs – the child comes across a terrible finding (corpse): “She had often been as far before, but the strangeness of the land made it not as pleasant as her usual haunts” (Walker). “It was then she stepped smack into his eyes” (Walker).
  3. Loss of innocence – Myop understands that the man has been killed; he fell victim of the lynch mob: “His head lay beside him…he’d had large white teeth, all of them cracked or broken” (Walker). The girl comprehended that the man had been brutally beaten. “It was the rotted remains of a noose, a bit of shredding plowline, now blending benignly into the soil” (Walker). Myop understands that the victim was hanged.
  4. Complete loss of innocence – Myop is no longer a carefree child she used to be: “Myop laid down her flowers” (Walker). She decided to pay respects to the victim who suffered from discrimination. “And the summer was over” (Walker).

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StudyCorgi. (2022, March 5). “Flowers” by Alice Walker. Retrieved from


StudyCorgi. (2022, March 5). “Flowers” by Alice Walker.

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"“Flowers” by Alice Walker." StudyCorgi, 5 Mar. 2022,

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