Symbolism In Anne Kathrine Porter's Flowering Judas

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A flowering garden in the spring crafts conceptions of fertility, beauty, and bliss. People are similar to plants: some are practical, others radiate beauty, while the worst are those that kill. Not all shrubberies are welcome, such as the purple flowers from the Judas tree. These beautiful, yet morbid, flowers should be kept at bay from the hearts of the tender because of their sinister connotation. They symbolize death or betrayal in literature, as is the example of the character Engino in “Flowering Judas” by Anne Kathrine Porter; his hands greedily eaten by Laura in a dream. Themes of betrayal and the theme of no perfect idea can be achieved, even love, are seen through a powerful central character. She embodies a cynical nature and mock-holy…show more content…
In the story, a Judas tree lingers outside of Laura’s balcony, which is ironically synonymous with the biblical character, Judas, who hanged himself in the aroma of purple flowers. The flowers represent the danger of love; Laura gives a young suitor a flower from her Judas tree hoping he will leave her alone, but instead he’s proud of the gift as he displays it in the brim of his hat long after its beauty has withered away(Page 315). Her actions signify a lie. Moreover, flowers from the children she teaches do the opposite reciprocal of her ways as “they make her desk a fresh garden of flowers every day” (Porter). Laura cannot love these children either, even though they too, crave affection from her. The difference between the suitor and the school children is the fact Laura can choose to deny the lover but she must work at her job (an obligation set by the revolution). While her denial may not appear intentional on the surface, her subconscious mind, once again, deludes her true intentions behind outwardly well-meaning actions. The Judas tree and flowers represent her dishonesty, like Judas, does to Christ in the bible with a

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