64 pages 2 hours read

Colleen Hoover

It Ends with Us

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 2016

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Symbols & Motifs

Plants

The novel makes a strong connection between Lily and Atlas and plants. Lily’s early conversation with Ryle underscores her connection to flowers when she humorously points out that her name, Lily Blossom Bloom, makes her passion for flowers seem inauthentic. Lily’s attachment to plants comes from how she feels that plants reward the care that is given them. “Plants,” Lily tells Atlas, “reward you based on the amount of love you show them” (105). Like plants, Lily rewards Atlas with her love for all the care that he showed her in the past and the care that he continues to show her during her situation with Ryle by reaching out to him at the end. 

Atlas himself has responded to Lily with enduring love out of the care that she showed him. Beyond that, Lily offers another view of plants: that while some plants need a lot of nurturing, some can thrive “just relying on themselves and nobody else” (106). Cast out from his family and home, Atlas drives himself forward, accepting Lily’s help and then joining the Marines, resolving to make a life for himself that he can one day offer her. His success with his restaurants shows that he resembles that tree who has flourished by relying on just himself.

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