Elizabeth's Struggle In Marigolds By Eugenia Collier

844 Words4 Pages
In the short story Marigolds by Eugenia Collier, a girl named Elizabeth and her family struggle through living in the time of the Great Depression. Elizabeth is an African American girl that is on the threshold of womanhood. Elizabeth's family is very poor and is forced to live in a shantytown. Elizabeth and her family have to live through the struggle of poverty, poignant and meaningful arguments in the family, and Elizabeth is caught between the chaotic emotions of a child and a woman. Elizabeth & her family are struggling through the "punishment" called poverty. Elizabeth's difficulty coping with her poverty is mainly what influences her to destroy the marigolds in Miss. Lottie's yard. In the beginning of the story Collier expresses an…show more content…
Elizabeth refers to the "Joy and rage and wild animal gladness and shame become tangled together in the multicolored skein of fourteen-going on-fifteen as I recall that devastating moment when I was suddenly more woman than child." All the things that is mentioned which seems to be tangled in what she as an endless piece of yarn, are mostly contradictions. Elizabeth switches between a child and a woman several times during the course of the short story. One time when she acts like a woman she mentions that "Suddenly I was ashamed, and I did not like being ashamed." This was right after the first destroying of the marigolds, and instead of joining with the kids in merriment, she instead felt ashamed as a woman. Elizabeth also turns into a child in the story. In a certain case she has to decide between both of them: "I just stood there peering through the bushes, torn between wanting to join the fun and feeling that it was all a bit silly." Elizabeth ends up being less mature than her brother in the end. When she destroys the marigolds for the last time, her brother keeps on trying to stop her: "Lizabeth, stop, please stop!" This proves that in fact she ended up more as a child then a woman, and her brother is more man than child. At the end the confusion she had with the marigolds is gone and she realizes why they are
Open Document