African-American Literature, M


Many comparisons can be drawn between the novels Meridian, by Alice Walker, and Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neale Hurston. The protagonists of both books are African-American females searching in a confused, bewildered world. Meridian is the story of the title character’s life from childhood to the Civil Rights Movement while Eyes chronicle Janie’s ever-evolving character from life with a white family in the Deep South to her return ‘home’ to Eatonville. Meridian and Janie’s constant need to identify and connect with their community while maintaining a sense of self-actualization drives main character development and catalyzes many important events in both works.
An important ...

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and marriage. Walker describes the ‘love’ Meridian’s mother felt as “toleration for his (Meridian’s father’s) habits ”(50). This woman had no want of children. She was completely unprepared for what they would mean to her life. Children shattered Meridian’s mother. Meridian would have loved for her mother to break the bonds of society like her great-grandmother Feather Mae, who “loved walking nude about the yard and worshipped only the sun.” But, her mother fell into the southern rut. This rut included never talking about sex. Meridian, believing the subject taboo, never spoke of it either. Just as in Eyes, it was one of those things that everyone did, but no one spoke of. Meridian, being an impressionable young woman, began to have sex. She, perhaps like many other young women of her time, struggled with “doing something with such frequency that she did not enjoy” (61). She was torn, even at such an early age, between fitting in to her culture and limiting her actions ...

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to be happy she needed a man with property to protect her. While Janie was under the pear tree dreaming within herself, Nanny was busy with thoughts of marrying her to Logan Killicks. Janie’s nascent sense of self objected to the proposal. She was not aware of marriage and not ready for ‘love’ as her grandmother explained it to her. According to her culture, she was to marry Logan, then fall in love with him. She had wanted to experiment with love, like she had with Johnny Taylor. Nanny would hear nothing of it. Her “words made Janie’s kiss across the gatepost seem like a manure pile after a rain” (12). Nanny’s influence, the influence of a culture Janie knew nothing of, was ...

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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 5/13/2008 01:54:59 PM
Category: English
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 1495
Pages: 6

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