Maturity In The Short Story 'Marigolds'

754 Words4 Pages
How the author develops the theme of maturity comes through the development of compassion in the short story “Marigolds” by telling of the incident of “... the moment childhood faded and womanhood began.” (Marigolds 59). We see that before the incident occurred, Lizabeth, the main character and the one in this story who experiences the change of maturity, vaguely knew that their community was poor due to its lack of radios, newspapers, magazines, and other things in the little dusty community they lived in.(Marigolds 4). Like many other children of the town, she loved to run around with the kids of the small community she lived in. They loved to run wild; their antics included trying to catch fish, drawing, and their favorite out of all of these things,…show more content…
The author notes that she “... did not notice my father’s silence…,” and “... did not notice my mother’s absence…” Then, later on that night, we hear Lizabeth’s mother and father have a conversation in another room whilst laying down on her (and her brother’s) makeshift bed. After hearing her father woes, her father started crying “loudly and painfully, and cried helplessly and hopelessly into the dark night.” (Marigolds 42) This event combined with her mother’s absence from her life and the previous affair from earlier that day made Lizabeth feel extremely alone and, with Joey struggling to catch up, floored it to Miss Lottie’s house. When Lizabeth got to Miss Lottie’s house, she furiously ripped and tore marigolds from the patch, decimating all the beautiful flowers that were there! What drove her to do this? Well as the story states, Lizabeth had gone mad due to “...all the smoldering emotions of that summer swelled in me and burst- the great need for my mother who was never there, the hopelessness of our poverty and degradation, the bewilderment of being neither child nor woman and yet both at once, the fear unleashed by my father’s
Open Document