Alice Walker Essay Research Paper Alice Walker

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Alice Walker Essay, Research Paper Alice Walker There are many different types of authors in the world of literature, authors of horror, romance, suspense, and the type that Alice Walker writes. Alice Walker writes through her feelings and the morals she has grown with, she writes about the black woman?s struggle for spiritual wholeness and sexual, political, and racial equality. Although most critics categorize her writings as feminist, Walker describes herself as a ?womanist?, she defines this as ?a woman who loves other woman…Appreciates and prefers woman culture, woman?s emotional flexibility… and woman?s strength… Loves the spirit… Loves herself, Regardless?. Walker?s thoughts and feelings show through in her writing of poetry and novels. Much of Walker?s fiction

is informed by her Southern background. She was born in Eatonton, Georgia, a rural town where most blacks worked as tenant farmers. At the age eight she was blinded in the right eye when an older brother accidentally shot her with a BB gun, after which she fell into somewhat of a depression. She secluded herself from the other children, and as she explained, ?I no longer felt like the little girl I was. I felt old, and because I felt I was unpleasant to look at, filled with shame. I retreated into solitude, and read stories and began to write poems.? In 1961 Walker won a scholarship to Spelman College in Atlanta, where she became involved in the civil rights movement and participated in sit-ins at local business establishments. She transferred to Sarah Lawrence College in

Bronxville, New York, graduating from there in 1965. She met her future husband Melvyn Leventhal, a Jewish civil rights attorney, in Mississippi where she was an activist and teacher. In 1967 Walker and Leventhal married, becoming the first legally married interracial couple to reside in Jackson, the state capital, they had one child together one year after they got married, named Rebecca . They divorced in 1976. Since then Walker has focused more on her writing and has taught at various colleges and universities. Walker is one of the most prolific black women writers in America. Her work consistently reflects her concern with racial, sexual, and political issues?particularly with black woman?s struggle for survival. She explained ?The black woman is one of America?s greatest

heroes?.Not enough credit has been given to the black woman who has been oppressed beyond recognition.? Walker?s insistence on giving black women their due resulted in one of the most widely read novels in America today, Alice?s third novel, ?The Color Purple?. The was the first book I had read by Alice Walker, the novel traces thirty years in the life of Celie, a poor Southern black woman who is victimized physically and emotionally by her step-father and husband. While in her teens, Celie is repeatedly raped by her step-father, who sells the children. Then she is placed in a loveless marriage to Albert, also beats and torments her continuously. She eventually finds peace with the help of Albert?s mistress, Shug Avery, a blues signer who gives her the courage to leave her

marriage. At the end of the novel, Celie is reunited with her children and with her long lost sister Nettie. Walker earned many praises for the novel along with many criticisms as well. Those who praise the book such as Peter S. Prescott would agree with him when he said, ?an American novel of permanent importance, that rare sort of book which amounts to a diversion in the fields of dread?. Some felt differently about certain points the book made, one being the its negative portraits of black men, people like Darryl Pinckney state, ?Walker?s work shows a world divided between the chosen (black women) and the unsaved, the poor miserable critter? (black men), between the ?furnace of afflication? and a ?far off, miystic land of?miraculous. Walker?s central characters are almost