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Alice Malsenior Walker - Essay Example

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Alice Malsenior Walker was born on February 9, 1944 in the rural farming town of Eatonton, Georgia, where she spent her childhood as the youngest of eight children. As a child she was inadvertently shot in the eye with a BB gun while playing cowboys and Indians with her brothers…
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Download file to see previous pages She went on to attend Spelman College and then transferred to Sarah Lawrence College to which she received a scholarship.
Her life as a child was steeped in poverty. Her parents were sharecroppers, and her father's main work involved dairy farming, for which he was paid approximately $300 per year. Her mother supplemented this by offering her services as a maid (Clark). Walker's home was very small, and she and her family lived a huddled life in it, often suffering extremes of temperature in the winters and summers. She spent her time watching people or playing tomboyish games with her older brothers (Danielle).
She was a precocious child, who tackled the first grade at only four years old. Her self-perception was very good, and she enjoyed performing in front of crowds at church and other functions. This changed after she was shot in the eye by her brothers. When that incident occurred, her parents delayed taking her to the doctor as they had underestimated the extent of the injury, and instead attempted to treat it with home remedies. However, subsequent infection of the eye which led to a fever caused them to take her to a physician (after they tried curing the fever by strategically placed lily leaves around her head). The doctor was able to cause the eye to heal, but the scar that developed was also a scar to her psyche that she carried with her many years (Danielle).
Her scar led to her bei...
She was cured while visiting her brother in Boston by visiting a hospital where surgery was done to remove the scar from her eye.
At the age of 17 she left home for Spelman College in Atlanta, for which she had received a scholarship for handicapped students. In college she participated much in political activism. She met Coretta King, wife of Martin Luther King, Jr. and participated in the March on Washington, at which King gave his speech "I Have a Dream." She also traveled abroad to the World Youth Peace Festival held in Helsinki, Finland. However, she became unhappy at Spelman because the administrators were disapproving of her activism. So in 1963 she transferred to Sarah Lawrence College in New York.
During her final year of college, Walker discovered herself pregnant and subsequently resorted to abortion (Clark). The decision drove her to depression, and in that time she wrote to clear her mind. She produced several pieces of poetry, with which her professor became impressed and which formed the basis of her first published work, a collection of poetry entitled Once (Danielle). She later met and married the lawyer Melvyn Leventhal, who was also active in the civil rights world. She gave birth to a daughter named Rebecca (Clark). For three years she worked in New York in the department of welfare. She later taught for two years as Jackson State University and then at Tougaloo College. It is during this time that her literary career really took flight, with the publication of her second work The Third Life of George Copeland.
Many of her works and themes reflect the nuances of her life. Her story "Everyday Use" reflects the anguish of a childhood spent in ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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