Psychological Case Study

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Alice Walker was born February 9, 1944 to parents Minnie Tallulah Grant and Willie Lee Walker in Eatonton, Georgia. Her parents were sharecroppers and her mother worked as a maid to help to supplement the family income. She was the youngest of 8 children. At the age of 8 years old, one of her brothers accidentally shot her in the right eye with a BB gun while playing a game of Cowboys and Indians. She became partially blind and developed scar tissue in her eye. She was teased by her classmates and felt misunderstood by her family, which caused her to become a shy and withdrawn young lady. (New Georgia Encyclopedia, 2012) "For a long time, I thought I was very ugly and disfigured,"
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This perspective “emphasizes social interactions and cultural determinants of behavior and mental processes”. (Carpenter, Huffman2010) I believe that her social interactions as a child are how she came to love reading and writing poetry. She was teased by her fellow classmates because of her scarred eye which in turn made her feel self-conscious and shy and she withdrew from the world around her. ( I believe that she was comfortable in the solitude she found in reading and put her thoughts into her poetry. Also, growing up in the segregated South must have played a role in her decision to become a political activist as well as witnessing the injustices forced upon her parents as sharecroppers in the Jim Crow south.



Alice Walker. (2013). The Biography Channel website. Retrieved 12:36, Apr 12, 2013, from

The New Georgia Encyclopedia, Alice Walker (b. 1944), updated 2008. Retrieved 13:33, April 12, 2013 from

Visualizing Psychology, Second Edition; Carpenter, Siri and Huffman, Karen; 2010; Chapter 1, page 8, paragraph
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