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Shelves: classics , philosophy , fiction , childrens-young-readers , united-states , adult , 20th-century Hope for the Flowers, Trina Paulus It all starts when Stripe, the main character, first hatches from an egg.
He begins his life by eating the leaf he was born on. He realizes that there must be "more" to life than just eating leaves. He senses there must be a way to get up into the sky. He searches for a way and finds himself at the base of a pillar made up of caterpillars. They are all struggling to get up into the sky as well. Here he meets Yellow who also wants to get up into the sky by Hope for the Flowers, Trina Paulus It all starts when Stripe, the main character, first hatches from an egg.
Here he meets Yellow who also wants to get up into the sky by climbing to the top of the pillar. But she feels bad about what must be done to achieve this goal. You have to literally step on and climb over all the other caterpillars who are also trying to reach the top of the pillar.
The two of them eventually decide to stop climbing and go back down the pillar. They live together for a while. Stripe says good-bye to Yellow. He focuses, adapts, and drives to reach the top, and eventually he succeeds at being on the top of the caterpillar pillar.
This results in disillusionment, as he takes in a vast vista of other caterpillar pillars. Is this all there is at the top? He has not really gotten in to the sky. He just has a view of other caterpillars struggling to reach the top of their respective caterpillar pillars. Yellow, however, has followed her instincts, continues to eat and then spins a cocoon. She eventually emerges from the cocoon transformed into a butterfly and flies into the sky effortlessly.
She has found the real answer to the feeling that there must be more to life than eating leaves, and who caterpillars really are. She is waiting for the disillusioned Stripe as he descends the pillar and eventually reaches the ground again. She shows Stripe her empty cocoon, and he eventually realizes what he needs to do. Stripe makes a cocoon of his own. Yellow waits for him. Stripe emerges transformed into a butterfly, and they fly off together.
I read this when I was a kid significantly under 10 at the public library. An allegorical hippie story encouraging people or caterpillars to get out of the rat race. I got the allegory, even as a kid. It features a HORRIFYING scene where the ambitious caterpillars are literally forming pillars, climbing over each other and crushing each other on the way to the top - where they simply fall from the pinnacle to their splatty deaths.
I think it scarred me for life.
Hope for the Flowers
Plot summary[ edit ] It all starts when Stripe, the main character, first hatches from an egg. He begins his life by eating the leaf he was born on. He realizes that there must be "more" to life than just eating leaves. He senses there must be a way to get up into the sky.