Eugenia Collier's "Marigold's" is an emotional tale exemplifying a dramatic voyage of a young girl's quest for understanding and hope that she becomes a compassionate young woman who came of age to realize that the marigolds she destroyed represented a contrast to those who existed in her shanty town. A young woman who's understanding of life grew in an instant of fear, rage, and compassion. In this emotional tale Collier uses symbolism, imagery, and a young girl's viewpoint to portray her tale.
Collier uses a lot of imagery in the telling of Lizabeth's coming of age story. The elevated use of imagery in Collier's story from the opening paragraph to the end paragraph show the emotions and feelings that Collier wanted to portray. Imagery was what told the story, it gave the story life and meaning. The imagery Collier uses takes you to the hometown of Lizabeth's youth. Through this imagery you can see the "dry September of the dirt roads and grassless yards of the shantytown," that Lizabeth grew up in. You can imagine the "sterile dust that . . . gets into the throat and between toes." You imagine a poor community that is filled with hardworking people who do all they can to make it. Collier's also uses imagery in her description of the marigold's. The imagery allows the reader to see how Lizabeth saw the marigolds and what she felt about them. When you first sees the marigolds they "rose suddenly and shockingly a dazzling strip of bright blossoms." This quote paints a picture in the mind of something that is foreign, of some that can't be understood, and since it can't be understood confusion turns to jealousy and hate. This jealousy began to show when Lizabeth and her friends took frequent trips to Miss Lottie's yard to throw rocks at the flowers. Imagery is the focus of the story in that it gives meaning to the marigolds in contrast to Lizabeth's hometown.
Symbolism is deeply rooted in Collier's tale of a young woman's journey into womanhood.