Study Guide

You Can't Keep a Good Woman Down Story 5: Petunias

By Alice Walker

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Story 5: Petunias

  • We're told that the following piece was found on the next-to-last page of a diary belonging to a woman who died in an explosion.
  • The woman's son had returned from Vietnam a changed man. He promised to show her how to make bombs. She tells him she thinks it's a bad idea.
  • The woman's son wants to make some noise in their little town. (You know, like, boom!)
  • The woman trails off and remembers that her family has always lived in Tranquil, Mississippi. She had worked with the Civil Rights Movement, and as a reprisal, some local white men dug up her grandmother's remains and dumped them in her garden.
  • Grandma's leg bone winds up among the petunias.

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