Hope for the Flowers

Stripe was a little caterpillar who wanted more.  He wanted more than what his life of eating and crawling could give him.  In the midst of a search for a higher purpose, Stripe came across a large hill of caterpillars climbing toward the sky.  With curiosity, Stripe began to climb this “caterpillar pillar.”  He came across a friendly yellow caterpillar and decided to leave the ruthless climbing life behind and settle down with Yellow.  Although Stripe loved Yellow, he could not forget the pile and decided to again pursue his purpose in it. Yellow was torn because she too felt like something was missing, but was certain that they would not find it by climbing with the other caterpillars, so she decided to stay behind. One day, though, Yellow met a friendly grey caterpillar who was on a tree fashioning a cocoon. Eventually, though she was scared, Yellow consented to making her own cocoon.  At this point, Stripe was extremely close to the top and, to his dismay, he realized that there was actually nothing at the top! At that very moment, a beautiful yellow butterfly came to his side of the pile and all of a sudden he was struck with a revelation… “I’m mean to be a butterfly!” Just that quick, Stripe was climbing down the pillar as fast as he could – this time trying to look into the face of each beautifully individual caterpillar and tell them the glorious news, though most did not believe him. Reaching the bottom, Stripe was exhausted and he lay down to get some much-needed sleep. When he awoke, the yellow butterfly was standing next to him, and though he could not understand a single thing she uttered, Stripe followed her. When they reached the spot where two fuzzy web-like things hung from a tree side by side, Stripe understood. So Stripe climbed – again – to the branch where the cocoons hung, and he started to spin his very own. And thus, a revelation was born among all other caterpillars, and the flowers bloomed as never before.

 

            In “Hope for the Flowers”, Stripe, a dynamic character, tried everything his little caterpillar self could to find what he was meant to do. At the beginning of the story he is a freshly hatched caterpillar who knows nothing of the world, and throughout the story he gains wisdom, learns new things, and eventually becomes a butterfly. Because of his drive to find his purpose, Stripe pushes himself to try new things and never stops trying to figure out who he is and who he is supposed to be. As a story told in third person omniscient, the readers are aware of Stripe’s thoughts and feelings and this becomes a gateway through which the author discloses the type of character that Stripe is. Taking a rounded approach, the author also reveals things about the character by using his actions (climbing the hill; choosing to stay with Yellow; making a cocoon) as well as using the opinion of the caterpillar he loves, Yellow.  The readers find Stripe to be a contemplative caterpillar, who never gives up once he sets his mind to something, who is flexible: ready to accept new ways of thinking and living, though it is easy for him to be led astray. Really, the only characters in the story are Stripe and Yellow, with a brief appearance by the grey caterpillar and various extras, but there is no antagonist. Stripe’s main function in the story is to relate with the average person who is looking for their place in life. Stripe has to endure mistakes and hard times in relationships in order to find his purpose, but he never gives up and eventually he becomes what he was meant to be: a butterfly.

 

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