Alice Walker "Beauty"

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English 110 W/F-71470
Professor Mackenzie

In Alice Walker’s “Beauty: When the Other Dancer Is the Self,” we are introduced to a self-confident, charismatic child. Through, “Im the prettiest!” and “It was great fun being cute” we sense a wave of pride as Walker describes herself as a child. (Walker, 47,48) However, this joy soon comes to an end as Walker is faced with an “accident.” Unfortunately, she is shot with a BB gun and is scarred and blinded in her right eye. Walker suffers throughout the story, struggling to deal with the loss of her physical and inner beauty. However, through experiences along the way she comes to realize she does not have a “deformity,” but a world in her eye teaching herself and the reader the real meaning of beauty.

Alice Walker’s definition of beauty was evident as she was a child and when the “accident” had taken place. Before she was scarred, she saw herself as a cute child with confidence of a super model. However, she went through a drastic change as she was left with a whitish scar on her eye. Now all she seemed to care about were the people staring at her and her appearance. Walker does not stare at anyone fearing they might look back, and does not raise her head. She is only concerned with her physcial appearance and isolates herself because she looks different. She percieves beauty as what one looks like on the outside and doesn’t consider the characteristics and qualities to make one beautiful on the inside. For years, Walker is overwhelmed with feelings of shame and ugliness. She can not come to love herself because of her inability to get past her definition of beauty.

Walker soon transforms into a different person as the scar is removed from her eye and she feels beautiful again. She immediately turns into a different person, with her head always raised. As she raises her head once again, the little confident girl she once was now returns. She wins the boyfriend of her dreams, becomes valedictorian, and leaves...
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