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Freudian Analysis of Marigolds

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Freudian Analysis of Marigolds  


Most of the time there is a moment in life where one realizes they have lost all innocence and gained some compassion.  “Marigolds” shows how one young girl transferred from a child to young adult through her life experiences.  Throughout this story another young, but at the same time old in her prime, lady’s experiences are revealed:  the author’s.  In this short story, “Marigolds,” Eugenia Collier’s subconscious is unmasked through symbolism, diction, and Lizabeth’s actions.

In the beginning, the author explains how this young girl, Lizabeth, lived in the culturally deprived neighborhood during the depression.  Lizabeth is at the age where she is just beginning to become a young woman and is almost ready to give up her childish ways.  Through this time period she was confused and could not quite understand what was happening to her.  In the end she rips Miss Lottie’s marigolds among the ugly place in which she lived.  The marigolds were the only things that make the place a bit beautiful to the eye.  In this scene the marigolds represent the only hope the people had for themselves in this time of depression.  This could reveal how the author has experienced a loss of hope in times of need.  In her explanation of how Lizabeth had torn up the flowers and destroyed all hope in that time of depression, might explain that she has also destroyed hope in a time of pain and grief.  Later she writes, “And I too have planted marigolds.”  This could mean she has learned from her experiences and that she has finally found hope and always tries to seek the good within the bad and the ugly.  On another note, it could mean she just wants to act out on something, but she can’t, so she writes about her...


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...her and even her mother because she says “…nor did I notice my mother’s absence, for she always worked until well into the evening.”  Since she had Lizabeth go to her brother instead of her parents, it may have described the way she dealt with her problems.  Not wanting to go to her parents for help.  As one can see, the actions of Lizabeth can tell a lot about the author.

Finally, the impact of harsh times during the depression affected Eugenia Collier considerably.  Through that experience she did grow up and made a realization that may have taken others a very long time to conceive.  I did learn more about the author just by reading what she had to say through “Marigolds.”  The symbolism, diction, and Lizabeth’s actions and reactions to things helped to reveal her subconscious and could make one aware of the difficulties and hardships during this era.      


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