Monday, February 17, 2014

The Last Flower

My son had to do an Interpretive English essay for class and he chose the book 'The Last Flower'. Since the students email in their work, and his email is connected to mine, I got the privilege of reading it (he lives with his dad). It sung to my Soul, literally, for last weekend I devoured the 'Conversations with God 1, 2 & 3'. I love the honesty in the last paragraph as to how do we stop this insanity, as no instructions were given in the book on how we can change from this reaping of history. Alas, there is another way! Here is the essay:

After reading the story “The Last Flower” by James Thurber, there are a lot of different interpretations or themes to choose from. What most caught my eye though was one theme. History repeats itself. In the story it talks about how there was a great world war and that it destroyed civilization. Nothing was left but one flower and Human beings reverted back to their most primal state. Eventually over time though they learn and advance until the point where another great world war happens and nothing is left except for a man, a woman, and a flower. 

So in those examples it shows how life is but a cycle that repeats itself over and over again for all of eternity. From my own life I have seen examples to support my theory. In history we had a World War 1 that was catastrophic to all involved. Than about 20 years later we had another World War which was also devastating. Also there have been countless revolutionary wars from America to France, and even civil wars. History has been repeating itself from the moment it started, it is inevitable. That is what the author is trying to show people in this story.

Put very simply, a picture is worth a thousand words. That is why Mr. Thurber used sketches to portray his message rather than just tell the story in written form. He didn't want his story to be abnormally lengthy and verbose, and it didn’t have to be. With pictures he can describe exactly what he is picturing in his mind rather than try to describe it in words. In words people will think different variations of the same thing. One person’s interpretation of the details in the story could be completely different from the others. With pictures though people see exactly what he wants them to see, so everyone can imagine and see what he sees. That’s the beauty of a picture, you could try to describe a picture or an idea with as many words as possible, but none of them would measure up to the actual picture itself, it’s quite simply put, remarkable.

“The Last Flower” tells people lots about life in general and how it might affect their life as they continue to advance. It shows them how life tends to repeat itself and how people will make the same mistakes over and over again until someone realizes what they are doing. In the end of the book there is another world war and everything gets destroyed again. This shows how people made the same mistakes again and it resulted in the same events. What the book doesn’t show is how someone can figure out what they are doing and change their course of action to something else to make new events occur. That is what the author wanted the readers to get from the story by showing how no one changed and the same events happened. Albert Einstein was quoted saying”Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

~Christian Snodderly

I would love to start a discussion on this as for myself, after reading CwGs, I know there is another way :)


  1. Wow! What a great reflection on life :)

  2. Thank you! Thought this was a very interesting essay and well written :)