An Analysis of the Theme of Loss of Innocence in Robin Jenkins Short Story “Flowers”

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An analysis of the theme of loss of innocence in Robin Jenkins short story “Flowers” by Agnieszka Petula Robin Jenkins in his short story “Flowers” has created a very strong character – Margaret who dynamically carry along the main theme of destroyed innocence. The author sets his story sometime during the Second World War in the picturesque Scottish Highlands. The choice of a child as a main character is very significant as a child accurately illustrate innocence. Margaret is a dramatic and dynamic character , her rebelliousness, anger and alienation instantly wins the reader sympathy. Jenkins puts the reader 'in medias res' so the reader finds themselves right in the middle of a situation and is immediately drawn into the story's plot. Margaret is a school age girl relocated from large city to remote village in Scottish Highlands due to the danger of war. When Margaret and her fellow school mates are sent away to the meadows to pick flowers, she decides to play her own game and runs away. She feels upset and isolated, and ignores all of the warning signs on her path moving straight to the forbidden shore. There Margaret discovers dead airmen laying on the beach. In the course of the short story Jenkins exploits a range of literary techniques such as characterisation, imagery, symbolism, setting and recurring motifs in order to explore the theme of loss of innocence. Jenkins begins the story with an emblematic event of “gathering flowers” by children from Miss Laing small Scottish school, both the flowers and children represent here innocence and beauty because of their pure and sinless nature. The activity itself indicate simple pleasure which is contrasted with Miss Laing's 'frown' expression, that makes the situation not entirely innocent and creates unsettled atmosphere. After that Jenkins introduces his main character; Margaret describing her as a
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