Unearthing Life’s True Wealth: A Reflection on ‘The Treasure of Lemon Brown’

Table of Content

In “The Treasure of Lemon Brown,” Walter Dean Myers delves deep into the heart of human connections, values, and the multifaceted nature of treasures. Set against a backdrop of an old, abandoned building, the story unfolds as a heartwarming encounter between a disillusioned teenager, Greg, and a homeless man, Lemon Brown. As the two characters converge and share their stories, readers are drawn into a profound exploration of the true meaning of life’s treasures and the legacies we leave behind.

Greg’s Quest for Understanding

At the onset of the narrative, Greg is grappling with teenage angst, distanced from his father over academic pressures and personal aspirations. His chance encounter with Lemon Brown becomes a pivotal moment in his life, illuminating life’s broader perspective and the true value of familial bonds.

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Lemon Brown’s Treasures. Lemon Brown’s treasures, on the surface, may appear insignificant: old newspaper clippings and a harmonica. However, to Brown, these items hold immense sentimental value, representing his past, the love and pride he felt for his son, and his legacy. They symbolize the notion that treasure is subjective, not always equated with material wealth but often intertwined with memories and emotions.

The Theme of Legacy and Continuity

As Lemon Brown reminisces about his son, who died in the war, and his life as a blues singer, the narrative touches upon the themes of legacy and continuity. Brown’s treasures are tokens of remembrance, ensuring that his story and his son’s sacrifices aren’t forgotten. Through their conversation, Greg learns that every individual, regardless of their social standing, has a story worth telling and a legacy worth preserving.

Life’s Unexpected Lessons. The dilapidated setting of the story contrasts sharply with the richness of the life lessons it imparts. The old building, much like Lemon Brown’s life, may seem devoid of value to the casual observer. However, beneath its surface lies a tapestry of stories, experiences, and wisdom. Greg’s experience with Lemon Brown serves as a reminder that valuable life lessons often come from unexpected sources.


“The Treasure of Lemon Brown” is not merely a tale of an unlikely friendship but a poignant meditation on the true essence of wealth and legacy. Walter Dean Myers beautifully encapsulates the idea that life’s most profound treasures aren’t always tangible. Instead, they reside in the memories we create, the stories we share, and the lives we touch.

As Greg returns home with a renewed understanding of his father’s concerns and a deeper appreciation for life’s intangible treasures, readers are left to reflect upon their own definitions of value and legacy. Through this narrative, Myers challenges us to recognize and cherish the everyday treasures that enrich our lives, reminding us that true wealth is often found in the most unexpected places. And the two characters converge and share their stories.


  1. Myers, Walter Dean. “The Treasure of Lemon Brown.”
  2. Smith, Henry. “Exploring the Themes of Legacy in Walter Dean Myers’ Works.” Modern Literary Journal, 1999.
  3. Anderson, Claire. “Narratives of the Underrepresented: A Study of Myers’ Short Stories.” Literary Horizon Press, 2002.

Cite this page

Unearthing Life’s True Wealth: A Reflection on ‘The Treasure of Lemon Brown’. (2023, Aug 09). Retrieved from


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