Essay about Autobiography in the Fiction of Alice Walker

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When reading Alice Walker’s “The Color Purple” and “Everyday Use,” it is evident that she writes about her life through her use of allegory. Alice Walker uses the events of her childhood, her observation of the patriarchy in African American culture, and her rebellion against the society she lived in to recount her life through her stories. Alice Walker grew up in a loving household in the years towards the end of the Great Depression. Although her family was poor, they were rich in kindness and perspective and taught Walker a lot about her heritage and life.
Alice Walker recounts the events of her childhood in some of her stories. When she was eight years old, her brother accidentally shot her in the eye with a BB gun while they were
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Walker’s observations of the patriarchal society she lived in influenced her writings a great deal. She listened to stories about her heritage from her grandfather whom was very violent towards her grandmother (Edemariam). She modeled the character “Mr.___” after her violent grandfather who, as Walker said, “chased her grandmother through the fields shooting at her; missing only because he was drunk.” Mr.___ abused Celie a lot throughout her childhood and Walker used the character Celie to write about the patriarchal society that she lived in. Celie was very dependent on both her father and Mr.___ in the beginning of the novel, but experiences an awakening that makes her realize she can be an independent woman. This mirrors how Walker was a conformist for some of her life, and then became very independent and proactive in portraying this initiative to other women. Alice Walker had much respect for independent women, and this was evident in “Everyday Use.” There is no father figure mentioned in the story, and the character Mama does most of the work that a male would do in a typical household. “I can kill and clean a hog as mercilessly as a man. I can work outside all day, breaking ice to get water for washing. One winter I knocked a bull calf straight in the brain between the eyes with a sledge hammer and had
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