“Innocence involves an unseeing acceptance of things at face value, an ignorance of the area below the surface” (Collier, p. 5). At the age of fourteen, the main character, Lizabeth grew up in rural Maryland, where the town was shanty with a grip of depression “Each morning our mother and father trudged wearily down the dirt road…she to her domestic job, he to his daily unsuccessful quest for work” (Collier, p. 1). Living in the shantytown and having little resources, toys, money, etc. Lizabeth and her younger brother made their free time worthwhile.
Lizabeth thought as a child, acted as a child, and went through her days as a child “I remember squatting in the road drawing a picture in the dust…I remember fishing for minnows in a muddy creek and watching sadly as they eluded my cupped hands” (Collier, p. 1). Lizabeth remembered a neighbor by the name of Miss Lottie. The other children as well as Lizabeth had an exciting time bothering Miss Lottie “But our real fun and our real fear lay in Miss Lottie herself” (Collier, p. 2). Miss Lottie was an elderly woman whom live in a ramshackle home, Lizabeth considered her home to be the “most ramshackle of all”.
Miss Lottie grew flowers called Marigolds “…a dazzling strip of bright blossoms, clumped together in enormous mounds, warm and passionate and sun-golden” (Collier, p. 3). Even though her home was run down and the town was a town of depression, the Marigolds stood out and were beautiful. I believe the Marigolds represented that “change is going to come”. Lizabeth knew the Marigolds meant something to Miss Lottie because she took time out her days to pull the dead weeds u, etc. Lizabeth and the other children committed an act that showed their childish side. Y’all children get the stones, I’ll show you how to use ‘em” (Collier, p. 3).
Lizabeth screamed to the others and the stones were thrown to Miss Lottie’s Marigolds. Basically, destroying the one thing that kept Miss Lottie happy. After the childish act, Lizabeth was ashamed. Maturity kicked in “The child in me sulked and said it was all in fun, but the woman in me flinched at the thought of the malicious attacked that I had led” (Collier, p. 3). Late that evening, Lizabeth hears her father sobbing over not being able to supply for his family as he would like.
She dislike the fact her father being hurt, sad, etc. Running to Miss Lottie home to destroy the rest of the Marigolds, Lizabeth finally came to her adult senses that Miss Lottie planted the Marigolds to “create beauty in the midst of the ugliness” (Collier, p. 5). The experiences Lizabeth encountered, gave her compassion. In Conclusion, we tend to look at one perspective until witnessing something that we find important going downhill. We than change from that perspective to looking at the other perspective that we never really thought were there.