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Literary Devices


"I feel again the chaotic emotions of adolescence, illusive as smoke, yet as real as the potted geranium before me now." (pg. 120)

This quote descirbes Lizabeth as her in her childhood.  She can't decide what her emotions are and how she feels about them.  Many things that happen in the story happen without her really knowing of what she's doing.  She realizes her mistakes and deeply regrets what she does right after she does them.


"...our hatred of it was still the vague, undirected restlessness of the zoo-bred flamingo who knows that nature created him to fly free."(pg.120)

Lizabeth talks about poverty in this metaphor.  She knows that this is not meant to be, that they deserve better than the poverty that they were in.  Although she dealt with it, she still wished on the inside that they didn't have to be poor in a ramshackle for a home.  

"...but memory is an abstract painting- it does not present things as they are, but rather as they feel."(pg. 120)

Lizabeth remembers her childhood, during the summer when she destoyed Miss Lottie's marigolds.  The hurt she experienced from the guilt of her destruction made her feel pain more than the joys and fun that she had.  


"My father whittled toys for us, and laughed so loud that the great oak seemed to laugh with him..."(pg. 125)

Lizabeth's father was so distraught that he could not support his family that he was crying.  She did not see how it was possible for a strong man that she'd known to be strong all her life, was crying because he could not have things the way they're supposed to be.  

Dynamic Character

Lizabeth is a dynamic character in this story.  When the story begins, Lizabeth is just an innocent child in a poverty-stricken neighborhood.  She does a few chores and then plays with the other children in the fields.  The point where Lizabeth starts feeling guilty about things she does is the point in whch she starts to lose her innocence.  When she destroys the marigolds, she felt so guilty and she actually felt bad about what she did and still regretted it to the present day.  That shows that, as a person, she changed to become a more mature person.