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Flowers Essay

"The Flowers" by Alice Walker Essay

1491 WordsFeb 7th, 20126 Pages

“The Flowers” by Alice Walker is a short story written in the 1970’s. The story focuses on Myop, a ten year old African American girl who loves to explore the land in which she lives. Carefree and naïve, Myop decides to travel further away from her ‘Sharecropper cabin’ and travels deep inside the woods to unfamiliar land where she discovers the decomposed body of an African American man. It is then Myop quickly grows up and suddenly becomes aware of the world in which she lives. The story relies on setting and symbolism to convey the theme of departing innocence.

Firstly the author wants to create an astonishing and radient world in which Myop lives in with beautiful sceery and picturesque skies. To do this her descriptions of the…show more content…

Walker still continues to illustrate the setting throughout paragraph three where she says “silver ferns and wildflowers grew”. Again this tells the reader that Myop’s surroundings are beautiful, tranquil and peaceful. Alice then goes on to tell us that Myop lives in a “sharecropper cabin” which gives across a strong sense of safety as it is familiar and family orientated.

Added to this, the writer’s use of symbolism strengthens this idea of attractiveness and inexperience, Myop’s name being the main symbol. Myop is short for Myopia. The name given to short-sightedness. This is used as a metaphor as Myop’s naivety, then as the story goes on Myop opens her eyes to see what the real world is like and the author mentions her name less. Another symbol used in paragraph 2 is the “warm sun”. This symbolises the light and life of the world. It is a time when people are supposed to be awake and no body should be sleeping but this is later contrasted further on in the story. All the setting and scenery described gives an image of the Garden of Eden- paradise – a place everyone wants to be, where nothing bad can happen up until one critical moment when Eve eats the apple and everything forever changes. This gives the reader an insight in to the rest of the story but still leaves them wondering what could happen next.

However the atmosphere begins to change halfway through

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A flower is a special kind of plant part. Flowers are also called the bloom or blossom of a plant. The flower grows on a stalk – a thin node – which supports it. Flowers have petals. Inside the part of the flower that has petals are the parts which produce pollen and seeds.

Flowers are the reproductive structure of flowering plants, which are plants of the division Magnoliophyta, also called the Angiosperms.

In many plants, a flower is its most colourful part. We say the plant 'flowers', 'is flowering' or 'is in flower' when this colourful part begins to grow bigger and open out. There are many different kinds of flowers in different areas in the world. Even in the coldest places, for example the Arctic, flowers can grow during a few months.

Flowers may grow separately on the plant, or they may grow together in an inflorescence.

Structure of flowers[change | change source]

To investigate the structure of a flower, it must be dissected, and its structure summarised by a floral diagram or a floral formula. Then its family can be identified with the aid of a flora, which is a book designed to help you identify plants.

Four basic parts[change | change source]

Flowers have four basic parts, from the outside in they are:

  1. The perianth, the vegetative parts
    1. The calyx: the outermost whorl consisting of units called sepals. These are often green and enclose the rest of the flower in the bud. They may be absent, or they may be petal-like in some species.
    2. The corolla: the petals, usually thin, soft and often colored to attract animals that help pollination.
  2. The reproductive parts
    1. The androecium, the male part, is the stamens
    2. The gynoecium, the female parts,

Although this arrangement is typical, plant species show a wide variation in floral structure.[1] The modifications produced in the evolution of flowering plants are used by botanists to find relationships among plant species.

Flowers are an important evolutionary advance made by flowering plants. Some flowers are dependent upon the wind to move pollen between flowers of the same species. Many others rely on insects or birds to move pollen. The role of flowers is to produce seeds, which are contained in fruit. Fruits and seeds are a means of dispersal. Plants do not move, but wind, animals and birds spread the plants across the landscape.

Since the ovules are protected by carpels, it takes something special for fertilisation to happen. Angiosperms have pollen grains comprising just three cells. One cell is responsible for drilling down through the integuments, and creating a passage for the two sperm cells to flow down. The megagametophyte[2] has just seven cells. Of these, one is the egg cell; it fuses with a sperm cell, forming the zygote. Another cell joins with the other sperm, and dedicates itself to forming a nutrient-rich endosperm. The other cells take auxiliary roles. This process of "double fertilisation" is unique and common to all angiosperms.

Evolution of flowers[change | change source]

Flowers are modified leaves possessed only by the flowering plants (angiosperms), which are relatively late to appear in the fossil record.

The earliest known fossils of flowers and flowering plants are from 130 million years ago, in the Lower Cretaceous.[3][4] The flowering plants have long been assumed to have evolved from within the gymnosperms; but the known gymnosperms form a clade which is distinct from the angiosperms. It has been concluded that the two clades diverged (split) some 300 million years ago.[5]

Flowers for people[change | change source]

As decoration[change | change source]

Flowers have long been admired and used by humans. Most people think that flowers are beautiful. Many people also love flowers for their fragrances (scents). People enjoy seeing flowers growing in gardens. People also enjoy growing flowers in their backyards, outside their homes. People often wear flowers on their clothes or give flowers as a gift during special occasions, holidays, or rituals, such as the birth of a new baby (or a Christening), at weddings (marriages), at funerals (when a person dies). People often buy flowers from businesses called florists.

As a name[change | change source]

Some parents name their girl children after a flower. Some common flower names are: Rose, Lily, Daisy, Holly, Hyacinth, Jasmine, Blossom.

As food[change | change source]

People also eat some types of flowers. Flower vegetables include broccoli, cauliflower and artichoke. The most expensive spice, saffron, comes from the crocus flower. Other flower spices are cloves and capers. Hops flowers are used to flavor beer. Dandelion can be made into wine.

Honey is flower nectar that has been collected and processed by bees. Honey is often named for the type of flower that the bees are using (for example, clover honey). Some people put flowers from nasturtiums, chrysanthemums, or carnations in their food. Flowers can also be made into tea. Dried flowers such as chrysanthemum, rose, and jasmine are used to make tea.

Special meanings[change | change source]

Flowers were used to signal meanings in the time when social meetings between men and women was difficult. Lilies made people think of life. Red roses made people think of love, beauty, and passion. In Britain, Australia and Canada, poppies are worn on special holidays as a mark of respect for those who served and died in wars. Daisies made people think of children and innocence.

List of common flowers[change | change source]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Flowers.
  1. Daffodil
  2. Dahlia
  3. Daisy
  4. Edelweiss
  5. Hibiscus
  6. Jasmine
  7. Lily
  8. Water lily
  9. Lotus
  10. Marigold
  11. Morning glory
  12. Pansy
  13. Petunia
  14. Tulip
  15. Rose
  16. Sunflower
  17. Gadhaful
  18. safali
  19. kochuri
  20. gondoraj

Related pages[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

Other websites[change | change source]

A poster with flowersloo of flowers produced by twelve species of flowering plants from different families
Diagram of flower, cut open to show the parts
Aconitum flower dissected to show its internal structure
The evolution of syncarps.
a: sporangia borne at tips of leaf
b: Leaf curls up to protect sporangia
c: leaf curls to form enclosed roll
d: grouping of three rolls into a syncarp
An example of a 'perfect flower'. This Crateva religiosa flower has both stamens (outer ring) and a pistil (centre).