Marigolds by Eugenia Collier Analysis Essay


The marigolds, is a short story which ed in 1969, by Eugenia Collier. She indicated that she wrote the story during unhappy moments in her life. This was in the rural Maryland, and during the great depression period.

Plot Summary

This short story revolves around a girl called Lizabeth, and how her family experiences financial struggles and poverty. Lizabeth leads a group of her friends in throwing stones at Miss Lottie’s marigolds flowerbed. Miss Lottie is considered the town outcast and hence children continuously frustrate her (Magill 74). During the depression, the marigolds flower beds was seen as the only area with amazing colors. The rural children seemed to be amused by both Miss Lotties, and her marigolds flower bed. Later in the evening, she overhears her father sobbing and crying to his wife over his unemployed situation which frustrates his efforts in catering for his family’s needs. She never thought that adults can be vulnerable at times. She has also never seen or heard her father cry. Lizabeth cannot sleep, because she is angered by their poverty state (Eugenia 43). Therefore, she runs to Miss Lottie’s flower bed during the night, and expresses her anger through uprooting the marigolds. Miss Lottie notices this; Lizabeth just remained quiet and stares at her damage. She also notices an equally angry and fruatrated Miss Lottie (Hart 29). This enables her to understand differences in childhood and maturity; and that realized that a person can’t have both innocence and compassion. At this juncture, Lizabeth sees through adulthood with compassion; and also realizes that childhood innocence is good (Yolanda 97).


In March 2004, it was reported that a film adaptation will be done through the Orange County School of Arts. The film had a limited release, in June 2014, after being showed at the Chapman Universitys Folino Theater.

Works Cited
Eugenia, Collier. Marogolds. Portsmouth: Greenwood Publishing Group, 2007. Print.
Hart, James. Oxford Companion to American Literature. London: Unit: Oxford University Press, 2005. Print.
Magill, Frank. Short Story Writers. Pasadena, California: Salem Press, 2000. Print.
Watson, Noelle, (ed.) Reference Guide to Short Fiction. Detroit: St. James Press, 2003. Print.
Yolanda, Williams. Encyclopedia of African American Women Writers. Greenwood Publishing Group, 2009. Print.

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