Structuralism In The Flowers By Alice Walker

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Structuralism Essay The Flowers by Alice Walker uses several structuralist concepts that can help the reader better understand the story. There are three different structuralist terms emphasized while reading the story: sign, code, and symbol. A sign, in a literary sense, is a thing that makes you think of something else without an obvious connection between the sign and object. Codes are a set of ideas, rules, letters, numbers, symbols, etc., that are used to represent another thing. A symbol is something regarded as representing something else. Myop, a young girl, is the main character in the story. She has an innocent, positive personality and ventures out into the woods to gather flowers. The setting is important to the story as …show more content…
She does not have any responsibilities, is carefree, and likes exploring around her farm, as evident in the quote, “Today she made her own path, bouncing this way and that way, vaguely keeping an eye out for snakes,” (Walker 43). Myop goes off into the woods to collect flowers, it is peaceful and happy. Soon she is miles away from home in a strange land she has not gone before. “It seemed gloomy in the little cove in which she found herself. The air was damp, the silence close and deep,” (Walker 44). The gloominess of the area is the author’s code for trouble and distress. Myop wants to leave and starts heading home when she literally stumbles upon a dead man. “All his clothes had rotted away except some threads of blue denim from his blue overalls. The buckles of the overalls had turned green,” (Walker 44). By the author’s description of the dead man’s clothes she is using social dress code to describe the dead man’s social class as someone who tended the land, like a sharecropper. Myop gasped and realization hit her for the first time, she grew up in that moment. Another code used is a behavioral code. “Myop laid down her flowers,” (Walker 44). It is common to lay flowers on coffins and bring them to funerals. She gives the dead man her bouquet of flowers she had been collecting. Myop is giving him the flowers as a code of respect towards …show more content…
“As she picked it to add to her bundle she noticed a raised mound, a ring, around the rose’s root,” (Walker 44). The rose growing in the center of the noose is very symbolic. Roses are a symbol of love and a noose is a representation for hate. Because the flower was growing in the center of the noose, The author’s symbolic meaning was that love for one thing can be the center of hate for another. This relates to the racism of this time and can leave the reader to infer the dead man was lynched because of a hate crime. Love and hate are binary opposites but are apart of everyday life, and that is what Myop realizes after seeing the dead man. She no longer can run around and be innocent and carefree. “ Summer was over,” (Walker

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