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Marigolds The story of a young girl who destroys a bed of flowers This was a sad story, but a quick, meaningful read. Very sweet and short. Miss Lottie s marigolds were perhaps the strangest part of the picture Certainly they did not fit in with the crumbling decay of the rest of her yard Beyond the dusty brown yard, in front of the sorry gray house, rose suddenly and shockingly a dazzling strip of bright blossoms, clumped together in enormous mounds, warm and passion and sun golden The old black witch woman worked on them all summer, every summer, down on her creaky knees, weeding and cultivating and arranging, while the house c Miss Lottie s marigolds were perhaps the strangest part of the picture Certainly they did not fit in with the crumbling decay of the rest of her yard Beyond the dusty brown yard, in front of the sorry gray house, rose suddenly and shockingly a dazzling strip of bright blossoms, clumped together in enormous mounds, warm and passion and sun golden The old black witch woman worked on them all summer, every summer, down on her creaky knees, weeding and cultivating and arranging, while the house crumbled and John Burke rocked For some perverse reason, we children hated those marigolds They interfered with the perfect ugliness of the place they did not make sense There was something in the vigor with which the old woman destroyed the weeds that intimidated us It should have been a comical sight the old woman with the man s hat on her cropped white head, leaning over the bright mounds, her big backside in the air but it wasn t comical, it was something we could not name We had to annoy her by whizzing a pebble into her flowers or by yelling a dirty word, then dancing away from her rage, reveling in our youth and mocking her age Actually, it was the flowers we wanted to destroy, but nobody had the nerve to try it, not even Joey, who was usually fool enough to try anything.So goes the tipping point of this terrible little tale, explaining and not explaining the big question why does Lizbeth have to destroy the marigolds What are they to the children, what are they to her The urge to destroy is somehow very familiar to us, and we may even guess that this urge is connected to stress, desperation, hopelessness, is even the natural result of these, but why exactly does stress make us destructive I suppose the chance to discuss such questions is what keeps this short story in high school anthologies down to 2015 As I prepare to teach it tomorrow, I have high hopes that it remains an excellent question with which to gather young people together in seminar mode I love this story very much This is a coming of age story And just like all other similar stories, growing up comes at the expense of pain and of learning a very harsh lesson What does it usually take to mature A struggle A loss To Lizabeth, it was her own cruel actions towards Miss Lottie, actions over a summer, but whose consequences will last a lifetime. 3.75 I mmad on how the main character acted. Perhaps this book isn t meant to be taken at surface view The writer intends to pass something deeper Lisabeth the so most appearing character in the book destroys an old woman s only beauty amidst her other olden things her house is said to be falling The Marigolds are destroyed by Lisabeth at night and therebefore she d also made incitations for her friends to throw pebbles at the marigolds and make notsogood chants at the old lady mrs lottie.The book is rather deep in context taking how t Perhaps this book isn t meant to be taken at surface view The writer intends to pass something deeper Lisabeth the so most appearing character in the book destroys an old woman s only beauty amidst her other olden things her house is said to be falling The Marigolds are destroyed by Lisabeth at night and therebefore she d also made incitations for her friends to throw pebbles at the marigolds and make notsogood chants at the old lady mrs lottie.The book is rather deep in context taking how troubled Lisabeth is and how the Marigolds represented the only good the old lady had lisabeth in her trouble doesnt seem to see the beauty in the lives of others and only seeks to destroy without cause not considering the old lady s life maturity is realising that there are other people in existence and just because things arent going well for you, you should exert your hurt in other people as well Lisabeth is seen to be in deep regret over her immature act she says the picture of the marigolds remains in her mind with clarity I just finished this story in school, and I have a lot of thoughts Lizabeth seems, in the text, younger than 14 I m 14 I don t have the inner dialogue of an 8 year old Lizabeth is in high school and she still spends all her time with little kids doing little kid things A 7 year old tearing up Miss Lottie s flowers I could get Little kids do dumb stuff At this age, though, you know it s wrong and downright cruel I think most of us have empathy down by seventh grade and yet she doesn t wha I just finished this story in school, and I have a lot of thoughts Lizabeth seems, in the text, younger than 14 I m 14 I don t have the inner dialogue of an 8 year old Lizabeth is in high school and she still spends all her time with little kids doing little kid things A 7 year old tearing up Miss Lottie s flowers I could get Little kids do dumb stuff At this age, though, you know it s wrong and downright cruel I think most of us have empathy down by seventh grade and yet she doesn t whatsoever.Miss Lottie never gets closure, and I don t know, it just makes me kind of sad for her Meanwhile, Lizabeth acts like crushing Lottie s hopes and dreams is just a quirky thing she did It s written really well so I ll give it an extra star Nothing against Collier, she seems like a great writer


About the Author: Eugenia Collier

Eugenia W Collier born 1928 is an African American writer and critic best known for her 1969 short story Marigolds , which won the Gwendolyn Brooks Prize for Fiction award She was born in , USA.Collier s collection, Breeder and Other Stories, was released in 1993 2 She has also published a play, Ricky, based on her short story of the same name Other texts that Collier has written or contributed to include Impressions in Asphalt Images of Urban America 1999 A Bridge to Saying It Well 1970 Sweet Potato Pie 1972 Langston Hughes Black Genius 1991 Afro American Writing An Anthology of Prose and Poetry 1992 and Modern Black Poets A Collection of Critical Essays 1973 Her work has appeared in Negro Digest, Black World, TV Guide, Phylon, College Language Association Journal, and The New York Times.Collier s Marigolds is one of the most widely read short stories in secondary school English textbooks citation needed Set against the backdrop of the Great Depression, the story describes the moment that the 14 year old narrator, Lizabeth, comes of age It is the moment she is first able to feel the pain of another human being, and Collier s narrative argues that innocence and compassion cannot exist in the same person.The former English Chair at Morgan State University, Collier has also taught at Coppin State College now University , the University of Maryland, Howard University, Southern Illinois University, and Atlanta University She graduated magna cum laude from Howard University in 1948, and was awarded an M.A from Columbia University two years later In 1976, she earned a Ph.D from the University of Maryland.Since retiring in 1996, Collier continues to live in Balti, and occasionally visits classes to discuss creative writing and her stories.


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