Essay on Alice Walker's Meridian: The Exploitation of Idealism
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In this historical and realistic novel, Meridian, written by Alice Walker, portraying the brutalities of life which most African Americans, especially women in the deep South, were forced to endure during the civil rights movement in the 1960s was a both a universal hardship and triumph for all of society. As the main character, Meridian Hill, repeatedly questions the value of her life through death and rebirth, she also seeks to discover the idealized woman, whom certain people repeatedly try to see inside of her while she repeatedly tries to bury that notion in the ground. Recurrently throughout this novel, Meridian tries to discover past memories of her inner self once again as time goes by. Through the uses of characterization,…show more content… I think she ain’t all there, myself.’” (pg 7). Truman, a close friend and African American activist, believes that Meridian is the existence of all beings, as if he idolized everything she was and everything she stood for while others questioned every action she acted upon. As a result of Truman’s admiration toward Meridian, this depicts the very meaning of ardor in Meridian’s character due to her passion for standing up in what she believed in and suppressing her sickness while struggling to push to triumph in her work. “She struggled to retain her mother’s hand…but her mother moved away, tears of anger and sadness coursing down her face. Her mother’s love was gone…and there were conditions to be met before it would be returned. Conditions Meridian was never able to meet” (pg 17-18).
As the reader is stricken with hidden representations though out every chapter within Meridian, Walker composes her writing style as a way for the reader to seek out both the signifier and signified which publicize the symbolism to an even greater extent, “The tree was visible from outside the campus walls, but its true magnificence as apparent only after one got near enough for a closer look…in full bloom, was like a huge mountain lit with candles” (pg 35-36). As the majority of the public passes by, rarely ever noticing the immense magnolia tree gazing down upon them, one is able to view the representation of the Sojourner as not only