Marigolds Theme

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The story Marigolds, by Eugenia Collier, shows the harsh reality of becoming an adult in the poverty stricken times of the 1930’s. The story follows a girl, Lizabeth, as she makes the tough transition from a innocent child to an adult. As Lizabeth grows into an adult she experiences new emotions such as empathy and compassion, but in order to do so she loses her childish wonder and innocence. The story touches on themes of compassion, love, and hope associated with adulthood, but also the pain and defeat that comes with it. It shows the innocence and wonder of being a child, but also the fierce and intense emotions of adolescent. These immense differences between youth and adulthood helps to contribute to the the main theme of this story:…show more content…
Lizabeth wakes in the middle of the night to the sound of her parent's voices. When she hears her father's depressed and disheartened voice she listens closer. She hears their talk about the struggles of providing for their family and then listens as her father finally cracks under the pressure, breaking down into sobs. “And suddenly he sobbed, loudly and painfully, and cried helplessly and hopelessly into the dark night. I had never heard a man cry before. I did not even know men ever cried. I covered my ears with my hands but could not cut off the sound of my father’s harsh, painful, despairing sobs.” (P. 221 274-279) This quote is an excellent example of losing the innocence of childhood. Prior to overhearing her parent’s conversation, Lizabeth doesn't think much about the harsh reality of the world she lives in. She is too busy running around and playing with the other children to think about making money, or providing for a family. However, when she hears her parent's talk she is exposed to the hardships of the world and any illusions she might have had about a carefree life are stripped away. This forces her further down the path of adulthood and allows her to experiences new emotions, such as sadness and defeat. This theme is still relevant in today's world because children still experience a similar transition between
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