Walker begins her essay with a story from her early childhood. By starting her essay with a positive story about her and her beauty she lays the foundation for how much her future disfigurement is going to affect every aspect of her life. Walker asks her father is she can go to the fair with him and states that she is the prettiest (“Mercury” 45). From an early age Walker knew she was beautiful. She gained much of her self-worth from her exterior beauty at this age. In the next paragraph in her essay she says “It was great fun being cute. But then, one day, it ended.”(“Mercury” 46). From this point on in her essay she discusses the circumstances of her disfigurement and how it has affected her life. Although Walker does not get into the specifics about what happens from this point on, she is giving the reader background on her life and preparing them for the trials and tribulations that are to follow.
Shortly after Walkers disfigurement she began to write poetry to help her deal with emotional issues. The beauty that she had become accustomed to at a young age vanished and she used writing as a coping mechanism. In an interview in 1994 Walker said that she has daydreamed of suicidal related topics and was ashamed of her disfigurement. She also says that she turned into an outcast and started writing poetry (“Everyday Use” 56). In Beauty: When the Other Dancer is the Self Walker inserts a poem called On Sight that discusses being thankful she has sight in one eye (“Beauty” 50). Walker’s use of poetry in her writing gives the reader a deeper insight to what she is writing. Her poetry has a powerful meaning. It is very personal and makes a strong connection with the reader. After reading the poem in her essay it is clear that she has moved on from the pain of her childhood accident and has learned to be thankful for the things she has in life.
Alice Walker is known as an activist and the events the essay discusses are major influences...
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