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Martin Luther King and Alice Walker - Essay Example

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Martin Luther King and Alice Walker

Martin Luther King's epiphanies however, were such that they changed the face of a nation.
When the Other Dancer is the Self by Alice Walker takes a beautiful and pertinent look at what drives women and particularly little girls. Beauty is something we all strive for, especially in today's media conscious world. It is really a connection between self confidence and self esteem that Alice Walker talks about. In the beginning of her memoir she speaks about being beautiful or 'cute' and having attention poured upon her. She remembers everything she is wearing and even what the day was like until the change occurs. In some instances where a tragic event changes a person's life they forget the good times, when everything seemed to be alright and focus rather on the event that changed their lives. Alice Walker has a vivid memory of the times when her confidence was high. There are essentially two paragraphs that describe these times and then one line that explains the change. That one line has its purpose in that effectively closes a chapter. Walker writes: "It was great fun being cute. But then, one day, it ended."(Walker 55). Alice Walker remembers then the tiniest detail of what changed her life and that scar that seemed to rip a gaping hole through her existence. There are actually two turning points within this story that both deal with the 'self' and the coming of age into a world where ones physical appearance no longer matters as much. When Alice Walker was shot, she had been known as a certain person and she feels thereafter that she was no longer that person. She remembers being changed and asking those around her whether or not she had changed. "Years later, in the throes of a mid-life crisis, I ask my mother and sister whether I changed after the 'accident.' 'No,' they say, puzzled. 'What do you mean'" (Walker 56). In this journey Walker begins to ask herself whether the change was part of her imagination. She wonders if that change was something so small yet significant that others could not see it. There are two ways of looking at this change or turning point. The first transition is when she was shot and when she imagined this change as being all-encompassing. The second change is when she realizes that it really made no difference and the way she sees herself is not necessarily the way the world sees you. Take for instance an acne sufferer: their condition has cleared up but they are so fixated on the one blemish that does not clear up that they believe this all other people see. They are often shocked when those around them honestly never noticed it. Alice Walker's perception of herself changed when her child likened her blind-eye to the way the world looks from a distance. This is a remarkable definition of the 'self', and once a new way of defining the 'self' is recognized, it puts everything else into perspective. Women are eternally concerned about their appearance perhaps still due to the old way of thinking in biological terms. Hundreds of years ago, a woman's future relied on finding a man and being able to keep him. He was her security, which meant that keeping him from straying was important and therefore preservation of appearance was also imperative. This mind-set has not yet been abolished. The way others view our appearance is very much dependent on how we view ourselves and what we are aware of within that self. Alice Walker was more confident after the ...Show more

Summary

Turning points in people's lives are sometimes not remembered, but at other times they are so vividly life-changing that they are forever imprinted in our memories. These memories either change the way we think about ourselves or the way we think about others…
Author : kemmerruss
Martin Luther King and Alice Walker essay example
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