Stages of Resistance in Alice Walkers Meridian Essay

This essay has a total of 840 words and 4 pages.

Stages of Resistance in Alice Walkers Meridian



Stages of Resistance in Alice Walker’s Meridian

In this compelling novel by Alice Walker, Meridian, the main character, grows up through
the eyes of the reader. The author shows us the emotional, physical, and psychological
stages of resistance that Meridian goes through during the height of the civil rights
movement. In fact, if one looks at the life of Alice Walker, the author of the novel,
similarities undeniably exist between the two women.

First let us examine the early signs of resistance in Meridian. One of the first obvious
examples of Meridian’s individuality is when she rejects religion at a very young age
despite her mother’s devout Christian beliefs.

In school, she is unable to finish a speech because she knows that there is no truth in
the words she speaks. “Meridian was trying to explain to her mother that for the first
time she really listened to what she was saying, knew she didn’t believe it, and was so
distracted by this revelation that she could not make the rest of her speech.” (Walker,
121) This passage reveals the intellect that overpowers her emotion developing in
Meridian. Yet another example is how Meridian is able to be a nonconformist when she
gives up family life and motherhood when she has the opportunity to attend college. Her
feelings are well explained in this passage.

“When she gave him away she did so with a
light heart. She did not look back, believing
she had saved a small person’s life.”
(Walker, 90-91)
Although Meridian feels it will be best for the child as well as for herself, this
decision causes great disturbance within her because of her mother’s disapproval. The
reader sees Meridian enter college after she has made all of these decisions, and she has
also volunteered to work for voter registration, a decision that foreshadows further
resistance throughout the novel.

When Meridian enters college, she does so knowing that she will better herself. One of
the first things the reader notes is her determinism to give the wild child a chance in
society, and then, after the wild child’s tragic and sudden death, give her a proper
funeral. After being denied the opportunity by the authorities, the reaction from
Meridian and other students was devastating. “The students sang through tears that
slipped like melting pellets of sleet down their grieved and angered cheeks: ‘We shall
overcome…’” (Walker, 48) Meridian becomes actively involved in the civil rights movement,
although she must conceal this from the university. She successfully encourages others to
join the movement, and they go from door to door trying to convince others to have the
courage to vote. After becoming aquainted with Truman Held, Meridian soon falls in love
Continues for 2 more pages >>




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