Seedfolks Symbols, Allegory and Motifs

Trash (Symbol)

Several narrators describe the trash in the Gibb Street lot with vivid detail. They describe how it is heaped up in big piles, how it smells terribly and is very old, and how the careless neighbors throw it right out of their windows into the lot, even though the gardeners are working there. In this way, trash becomes a symbol of the neglect of the neighborhood and its residents, as well as the indifference of politicians to their plight. When Leona brings the trash directly to authorities’ offices, she manages to get them to remove the garbage from the lot. This plays a big role in improving the garden and the neighborhood.

Fences (Symbol)

As the garden grows, some gardeners begin to put fencing around their plots along with “Keep out” signs. Fences are a symbol of the social tensions that exist between the gardeners. The garden's plots are roughly divided into sections by race and national origin, just like the Gibb Street neighborhood. On top of this, some people from the neighborhood do not respect the garden and begin to take vegetables that are not theirs. In this way, the same mistrust and suspicion that governs life outside of the garden begin to take hold within the garden, causing the erection of physical and figurative fences.