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Key Quotes

This page has 5 quotes and their significance to the story as a whole.

Quote 1.

"When I think of the hometown of my youth, all i seem to remember is the dust--the brown crumbly dust of late summer--arid, sterile dust that gets into the eyes and makes them water, gets into the throat and between the toes of bare brown feet. i don't remember only th dust. Surely there must have been green lawns and paved streets somewhere in town, but memory is an abstract painting-- it does not present things as they are, but how they feel."

This quote is important to the story because it introduces the setting and helps the reader understand how impoverished the main character was.


Quote 2.

"In those days everyone was just as hungry and ill clad as we were. Poverty was the cage in which we were all trapped and our hatred of it was still the vague undirected restlessness of the zoo-bred flamingo who knows nature created him to fly free."

This quote uses the image of a flamingo to insinuate that the main characters were in harsh poverty which was a daily struggle to just stay alive and healthy, and the challenge was to escape it.

Quote 3.

"'Who out there?' Miss Lottie's backside came down and her head came up as her eyes searched the bushes. 'you better git'"

This quote is important to the story because the it shows how protective Miss Lottie was of her precious marigolds. She feels that anyone who hurts them is like the devil and she knows that they are very beautiful.

Quote 4

"I leaped furiously into the mounds of marigolds and pulled madly, trampling and pulling and destroying the perfect yellow blooms."

This quote shows just how far into poverty lizabeths family really was. she was so desperate with her situation that she just reacted by doing the unthinkable: killing her towns' only beautiful thing.

Quote 5.
"And I too have planted marigolds"

This quote means that even Lizabeth has tried to improve her situation by changing one small thing to make the world a little more beautiful. by making it a little more beautiful, you can change the look of things just by helping one person.