Alice Walker Long Fiction Analysis
The story of Alice Walker’s childhood scar provides the most basic metaphor of her novels: the idea that radical change is possible even under the worst conditions. Although she was never able to regain the sight in one eye, Walker’s disfigurement was considerably lessened: I used to pray every night that I would wake up and somehow it would be gone. I couldn’t look at people directly because I thought I was ugly.Then when I was fourteen, I visited my brother Bill [who] took me to a hospital where they removed most of the scar tissue—and I was a changed person. I promptly went home, scooped up the best-looking guy, and by the time I graduated from high school, I was valedictorian, voted “Most Popular,” and crowned queen!
The idea that change and personal triumph are possible despite the odds is central to all of Walker’s writing. Her work focuses directly or indirectly on the ways of survival adopted by black women, usually in the South, and is presented in a prose style characterized by a distinctive combination of lyricism and unflinching realism. Walker’s women attempt not merely to survive, but to survive completely with some sense of stability, despite the constant thread of family violence, physical and mental abuse, and a lack of responsibility on the part of the men in their lives. Walker is simultaneously a feminist and a supporter of civil rights, not only for African Americans but also for oppressed minorities...
(The entire section is 5402 words.)
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