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The Man Who Loved Flowers by Stephen King

Autor:   •  April 15, 2018  •  Essay  •  930 Words (4 Pages)  •  179 Views

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”The Man Who Loved Flowers”

“The Man Who Loved Flowers” is a short story by Stephen King and was first published in 1977. The story is about a man who struggles with distinguishing his past from the present and how his mind reacts to the things that happens around him.

The story takes place in 1963 in New York on a beautiful evening in May – “The air was soft and beautiful, the sky was darkening by slow degrees from blue to the calm and lovely violet of dusk”[1]. Both the man and this evening in New York is described as beautiful. After the young man has bought the flowers something changes. It becomes late evening – “Now the stars were out, gleaming softly, and the lane was dark and shadowy, lined with vague shapes of garbage cans”[2]. Now the city is described differently which changes the atmosphere. It is no longer a beautiful spring evening, it is instead a city with dark and shadowy streets, narrow lanes, garbage cans and fading lights. Now we see the hidden side of New York and the hidden side of the man.

Right from the beginning of the story we get a description of the man where he is walking up and down the streets – “dressed in a light grey suit, the narrow tie pulled down a little, his top collar button undone. His hair was dark and cut short. His complexion was fair, his eyes a light blue. Not an extraordinary face, but… he was beautiful”[3]. He is described as a completely regular guy, this make us, the readers, believe that he could be one in a million, he could be some guy you meet on the street or someone you already know or maybe care about. He looks like he is very in love and people around him seem to notice and respond to this bubbling feeling. While the man is buying some flowers for his girl he hears something on the radio. This makes him “zone out”, where he for a moment stops to think about it – “None of it seemed real, none of it seemed to matter”[4], but then, just like that, he pushes the thought away and tries to forget it again – “… and the sound of the bad news faded”[5]. From this point on he gets more observant of the small things. He is no longer present in this world and instead he drifts of into his own mind and world. This seems as if he is dreaming and this makes him lose his sense of reality – “The young man pocketed his change and went on up the street, eyes wide and alert and eager, looking not so much around him at the life ebbing and flowing up and down Third Avenue as inward and ahead, anticipating”[6]. The man stays in this dreamy state of mind throughout the rest of the story. This state of mind is for example shown when he gets frustrated over the fact that he misjudges the girl for “his” Norma. As he pulls out his hammer he realizes that the girl is not Norma and that Norma has been dead for ten years. The man says to himself, that the girl is going to scream so he has to kill her. This point in the text is the only place were to author changes writing style. In this paragraph the author uses many repetitions and enumerations, this indicates the young man’s state of mind during the killing. This writing style tell the readers that the situation is going fast and that the young man is confused and not aware of his own body – “… she was going to scream and he swung the hammer to stop the scream, to kill the scream, and as he swung the hammer the spill of flowers fell out of his hand, the spill spilled and broke open, spilling red, white, and yellow tea roses beside the dented trash cans where the cats made alien love in the dark, screaming in love, screaming, screaming”[7]. In the end of story, he is not only confused about what happened but also confused about his own identity. He refers to himself as “Love”, which indicates that his identity is non-existent. His whole identity is about him trying to find Norma, his “Love” of his life.


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