Empathy In Marigolds By Eugenia Collier

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When people lose hope and fall into despair, their emotions take over and lead to decisions that can change one’s life. In the short story “Marigolds”, written by Eugenia Collier, 14-year-old Lizabeth lives during the Great Depression in a black community in Maryland. She loses hope after hearing about her family's struggles and ragingly destroys Miss Lottie’s marigolds. Though, she realizes what deep meaning they have and empathizes with Miss Lottie. Collier emphazises that the loss of hope doesn’t mean it’s all destructiveness, yet feeling empathy for others who have had similar experiences through symbols and conflicts. In the novel To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, a man named Arthur (Boo) Radley is seen as a horrible monster after being …show more content…

For example, Lizabeth explains that “poverty was the cage” that everyone was “trapped” in (Collier 6). Poverty caged many during the Great Depression, still those of color had always been trapped with no possible escape. Families were forced to survive with minimal resources they could acquire and they weren’t able to live and enjoy the beauty of life. Being stuck in the cage led to the financial and mental downfall of many individuals though empathy radiates as the readers understand what it’s as to live in …show more content…

To release all the emotions Lizabeth was feeling she ran to Miss Lottie’s shack and “leaped into the mounds of marigolds and pulled madly…” ruining the flowers (Collier 12). Lizabeth was overwhelmed and had to take out her anger somewhere and she chose the marigolds because they were the only things that were perfect. Lizabeth’s life was out of order and she had no one to comfort her though when Miss Lottie came out, she finally understood what those marigolds meant and what her actions had caused. The marigolds symbolize hope and as Lizabeth destroyed them, she was destroying Miss Lottie’s hope and her own. Readers can feel empathy as they understand what it’s as to destroy something and later realizes its true

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