Alice Hart In ‘The Lost Flowers Of Alice Hart,’ Explained: Why Is She Texting Dylan?


Alice Hart, the person after whom The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart is named, is the weakest character in the entire series. She was absolutely not given a personality except that of the victim, right from her childhood to her relationship with Dylan. But the point of shows like The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart is to convey a message and make the audience connect with the characters through it. We understood Agnes and Clem Hart from our memory of having heard of people like them; we saw Dylan’s manipulations and immediately understood why Alice was behaving the way she did, because it was not the first time this has happened, and anyone who has spent any amount of time trying to understand the power dynamics of such situations would have understood what made Alice so helpless. We can complain that we did not get a proper character graph for anyone, but the fact is that it wasn’t required for this particular story. Yet, the fundamentally flawed storytelling of this series has raised this question instead of making the answer evident.

The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart wasn’t just supposed to say that women get caught up in situations of abuse. It was supposed to show why they find it so hard to break out of it. Be it the case of Agnes, who was knowingly pushed into it by June Hart, or the case of Alice, who never knew how to fight against it despite having heard the cautionary tales all her life, we needed to know why that happened to them instead of the fact that it did. The series does not expand on the right subject, which is why we don’t have a good answer as to why Alice kept texting Dylan long after leaving Agnes Bluff and whether she would ever fight against him.

As with most traumas, the answer to this may have started in Alice’s childhood. We remember her having some affection for her father despite being scared of him at other times. We doubt she realized that what was happening to her was wrong and simply learned to think of it in terms of reward and punishment. We also wonder how Alice used to see her mother. When talking about Clem with Charlie, Alice described him as strong. Does it mean that she saw her mother as weak and fragile since she was never able to fight off Clem?

When the fire happened, Alice blamed herself for many years. We are sure that June must have known the truth, but she chose not to tell Alice, probably so that she wouldn’t go digging up the secrets of the past and stay away from Charlie in the process. As Alice grew up, we wondered whether she ever applied that “reward and punishment” mentality to the fire. She felt guilty about her mother and brother, but what were her feelings about her father? Did she feel that he had gotten what he deserved, that she was protecting herself, or just that it all went way too far, and he shouldn’t have died? We know that Alice did not have many men in her life. She only ever knew Oggi personally, and he was a sweet boy. He was also her first love, and she must have felt that this was it for life.

When Alice grew up on the farm, she saw the women come and go, and she knew that they had been the victims of the men in their lives. She saw their scars the way she saw them on the woman when she first came to Thornfield. But Alice never learned the true extent of them. She never learned that the physical scars were the least of it. The mental scars were more dangerous because they could not be seen. When Alice was a child who had just come to Thornfield, and she met the woman who had come there with her child and was seeking shelter, Alice was heartbroken when she made the choice to go back to her husband. Perhaps Alice grew up thinking of the woman with sympathy, but the other side of the coin is that she must have believed that she would never be in their position. She was too smart; she had seen too much and knew better, so she would never let a man do that to her. June Hart had never spoken to Alice about the actual horrors these women faced and the way they were trapped in them, so it was easy for Alice to assume that she was above all of it.

When Alice fell in love with Dylan, it was the first time she was that vulnerable because she loved the man. Love craves validation, which means that Dylan’s words had an effect on her. He had been very charming and tender to begin with, and when he told her that the fire was not her fault, maybe she felt for the first time that he was right. After all, he wasn’t her family like June and Candy, and he did not owe her any care to lie to her. So, if he said that she was innocent, there must be some truth to it.

But as the days passed, June found that she was having to push her feelings into the background. When he left her alone in the wilderness because she asked him about Lulu, he made her think it was her fault, and Alice believed it. When he behaved nastily with her or ignored her, he made up for it with sweet gestures or pretended that it was an honest accident. Basically, he was conditioning her to make excuses for him and constantly learn how to accommodate him. The first time he got physical, he made Alice believe that it was “love” that made him act so violently. He told her that it was her responsibility to be a certain way so that he wouldn’t repeat this behavior, and in the heat of the moment, Alice agreed to everything. While she started drawing the parallels soon, Alice was still confused, not because of Dylan but because she couldn’t see how she could land in a situation like that. Even when she reached the point where she couldn’t make excuses for him anymore, she was overwhelmed by the fact that she did not have a case against him.

Alice had seen other people fight, but she had never done so herself, and right then, she felt weak in the face of the love that she once shared with Dylan. This is an aspect of cases of intimate partner violence that is not often spoken about: the grief of the love that has remained and, sometimes, the anger against the person for not having worked on themselves to make the relationship better. This is precisely what Alice was going through and why she couldn’t help but text Dylan that she missed him and loved him. Luckily, when she finally got her hands on her grandmother’s books, she understood that her journey had just started. We believe that Alice will take some time, but she will gather her courage to fight. She will learn how to differentiate love from other feelings and draw stronger boundaries. She has a journey ahead of her, and this is just the first step.

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Divya Malladi
Divya Malladi
Divya spends way more time on Netflix and regrets most of what she watches. Hence she has too many opinions that she tries to put to productive spin through her writings. Her New Year resolution is to know that her opinions are validated.

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