The Theme Of Slavery In Alice Walker's 'The Flowers'

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Death is something that is inevitable, we cannot escape it, so we live our life either afraid or ignoring the fact that it will soon come. Death is usually something young children aren’t really exposed to; we in society do this because we always see death as the hurtful tarnishing thing that will just destroy children’s innocence. In Alice Walker’s “The Flowers” the young character of Myop discovers a skeleton of a man who was lynched and it changes her perspective on life. Walker’s use of literary devices in turn help us understand the themes of a loss of innocence, discovering our inevitable history and the decision of who is mournable to illustrate Myop’s disturbing experience.
Walker uses tone and characterization to further show the
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This question has been a part of history for all eternity. It also follows the question who do we see as human? Slavery is one of the most obvious forms of dehumanization. Slaves weren’t treated as people yet they were only viewed as property. And with property they believed that they could do what they want and treat the slave, actual people, as such. Walker uses imagery to show the noose hanging in the tree, “ frayed, rotted, bleached and frazzled—barely there—but spinning in the breeze (38).” Lynching in an atrocious act. It was seen as a “white man’s sport” according to many people. It brings out the herd mentality. It was something that was seen as entertainment. But since when did torturing a person, setting them on fire and hanging them become a sport? The act of lynching is something that was not only around in the time of slavery, it continued all the way up to the 1960s. When Walker describes the noose as something spinning in the breeze and being frayed and worn out, it makes us think that it is something in the distant past, something that was not preserved but that’s where we are mistaken. This is something still going on at the time Myop was there. That’s what breeds the fear, that there is danger lurking around every corner. It comes to question when are we ever safe? Myop can never truly feel safe after this. The second to last line, “Myop lid down her flowers (37)” shows that the victim is mournable. So many times in American history we are told who is mournable and who is not by the complete destruction of bodies. People are being killed without any repercussions for the murders. Who is to say that this slave isn’t mournable, or this Native American tribe or these immigrants. Our history is filled with people dying and nobody caring. Today it would be safe to say that there are modern day lynching happening. There is always an excuse for why they died or why they were killed,

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