The Nineteen Thirties’ Separations
Lizabeth’s behavior and actions in the story are caused by the poverty she and her family faces due to the oppression in the 1930’s. The poverty in which they live during this period also causes the gender roles to be reversed. In Marigolds the black’s oppression leads to poverty, which causes the kids to be bored. Their boredom leads to destruction.   In the story Lizabeth chants at Miss Lottie, an old black woman, and damages her marigolds by throwing pebbles at them. Poverty causes Lizabeth a big confusion for she could not actually understand what are they going through, she just knows she is bored and angry at those beautiful marigolds, for they say too much she could not understand.   As for the gender roles it was rare in the 1930’s that these were reversed. Even though men are supposed to be the ones that work and support the family. In “Marigolds” the gender roles are switched.   Eugenia W. Collier writes: “How could it be that my father was crying?...The world had lost its boundary lines.” When Lizabeth hears her father cry, Lizabeth gets scared and angry, for the man who has been the support of the family, now was sobbing like a child, according to Lizabeth this causes her life to lose its boundaries. A mixture of feelings causes her the desire for destruction, so she goes directly to Miss Lottie’s house at 4 am and destroys her marigold garden. All these actions and events that occur throughout the story are caused by the time period in which it takes place: the 1930’s, where an attitude of separation is strictly visible between the blacks and the whites and the men and the women.