How do you interpret the story of the caterpillar pillars and the transformation of Yellow and Stripe into butterflies?
The story of Yellow and Stripe in Hope for the Flowers is analogous to our own Human search for purpose in life. Human life seems as open as life would seem to a caterpillar, a parallel that the story draws on to create a critical dialogue in our own mind as we read the text, raising such questions as: What is my purpose in life? Is whatever I am doing now only just “climbing the pillar?” Is our intended goal as arbitrary as Stripe had found his own out to be?
In the story, Stripe is born as a young caterpillar and begins to eat everything around him. Before long, he questions his purpose in life, thinking “There must be more to life than just eating and getting bigger.” As humans, we sometimes have similar thoughts. Deep reflection upon one’s own purpose can cause us to question everything we do as humans. We may believe our purpose is decided by a God, decided by the greater good, that we decide our own purpose, or perhaps even that we do not have a purpose at all. Stripe is pondering such concepts stumbles upon a mass of other caterpillars that seemed to be purpose-driven. The other caterpillars were moving toward a type of caterpillar-pillar, in which many of the animals had formed a living mass that grew upwards, reaching into the clouds and out of sight. Stripe decides to follow the rest of these creatures, essentially deciding that his purpose in life should be, like his fellow caterpillars, to reach the top of the pillar. This is identical to our own human beliefs in purpose in that Stripe has, like us, placed his “faith” in some purpose. This story displays how one may doubt this faith, but that faith is ultimately necessary. After a long while of climbing, Stripe meets Yellow in the pillar. Both of them have begun to question their purpose in climbing to the top of the tower; they have a short conversation about this doubt....
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