Loss Of Innocence In 'The Flowers And Barbie-Q'

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Through the Eyes of a Child
There is a loss of innocence when a young child is exposed to societal truths. That being said, it is not uncommon for a child to feel a need for change in themselves when they are made aware of the flaws of the world as well as their own. This loss of innocence is found in the following short stories through a specific literary device. Although a wide array of elements is used in a work of literature, denotation is an assertive approach that puts more emphasis on the meaning. In the short stories, “The Flowers” and “Barbie-Q”, Walker and Cisneros use denotation to create a particular conflict within the story.

In “The Flowers” and “Barbie-Q” both authors use denotation to introduce the main characters as joyful …show more content…

In “The Flowers” Myop is walking through the woods when she comes upon an unlikely sight, a decaying man of her own race who seems to have been beaten intentionally. Before turning back to head home to the farm, “Myop laid down her flowers. And the summer was over” (Walker 6-7). Quite literally this quote reveals that the summer has ended, but is also marking the end to her oblivion as it relates the world around her. This quote also reveals a man vs society conflict. Myop is learning the brutality that someone of her own race has undergone. As she pays her respects to the departed man by lying down her flowers, she is also leaving behind her innocence. This can be compared to an example of denotation in Sandra Cisneros's short story. After coming to the realization that the broken and beaten version of the Barbie Doll is the closest one might get to perfection, the child begins to justify the dolls imperfections by saying that “If you dress her in her new ‘Prom Pinks’ outfit, satin splendor with matching coat, gold belt, clutch, and hair bow included, so long as you don’t lift her dress, right?---who’s to know” (Cisneros 6). The child chooses to think about the dolls deformities as concealable. Even so, the way this quotation is written, her rationale comes off as more of a question than a statement. This makes for a man vs society conflict as she learns

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