“Marigolds” by Eugenia Collier

1. to understand and appreciate a coming-of-age short story
2. examine setting in a short story
3. draw conclusions about a short story

a shanty is a roughly built hut
shanty-town is a poor area where people live in such dwelling

bravado compassion degradation futile impotent impoverished
perverse poignantly squalor stoicism

Literary Term:
Elements of the Plot
• exposition
• rising action
o conflict – external, internal
• climax
• falling action

Questions to consider while reading:
• Where does Lizabeth live?
• Why are Lizabeth and her brother, Joey alone every day?
• Why do the children go to Miss Lottie’s house?
• What is Miss Lottie like?

Set a Purpose: How do the children get along with Miss Lottie?

“Marigolds” Discussion Questions – Due Friday, October 21, 2005

1. Who is Miss Lottie? (pg.79) She is a big frame woman; she ahs smooth, reddish-brown skin. She has Indian-like features. She is very unemotional in her facial expression. She didn’t like intruders and she never left her yard nor did she have any visitors.

2. Why are the marigolds important to the narrator?

3. Identify how the story changes. At the top of page 78, starting with “I was loafing…” to “…Y’all got ‘em all while they was still green.” It shifts its focus from present daydreams to past events, and characters and dialogue are added.

4. Setting: Think about how the description of Miss Lottie’s house is a reflection of her social standing. (Page 78) Is she better or worse off than Lizabeth and her brother? She is probably worse off. The house she lives in is described as the most wretched, and her “queer headed” son on the porch adds to the impression of lowliness.

5. tragicomic (pg. 78) means “having both tragic (sad) and comic (funny) elements.” Describe what is...

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