In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens

Topics: African American, American Civil War, Communication Pages: 2 (463 words) Published: November 3, 2008
Alice Walker’s essay “In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens,” brings to light the histories of remarkable African American women whose legacies surpassed the bondage of slavery. Her argument incorporates her concepts of family and heritage on the shaping of individual personalities, and perceptions. Her intention is clearly to encourage African American women to discover their skills and abilities by learning from the past to better appreciate the present. Her argument can be seen as challenging the new generation of African American women to eliminate cultural, societal and economic boundaries and express themselves through art. Her deep reflection about women elders exhibits her compromise to motivate young African American women to be independent and creative. The author is explicit and clear about her attempt to reform the way African American women think about themselves. The authors’ tone is poetic. Her attitude toward her audience is conversational, personal but serious. She creatively and thoughtfully describes her experience as a daughter and granddaughter to support her main argument about how important it is to appreciate our elders to understand who we are and what we know. Although her overall tone reflects her desire to communicate effectively her ideas, there are still a couple of paragraphs that are hard to interpret. She also uses a moralizing tone in an attempt to explain or interpret good and bad features of slavery in United States history. Alice Walker uses Virginia Woolf's phrase "contrary instincts" to create and recreate the creative spirit of her female ancestors. Walker’s writing revives the ways African American women’s spirit was broken, while working and living in oppressive conditions. She describes the abnegation of her mother to exemplify her mother’s attitude to keep her creative spirit alive in difficult times. She uses names of flowers in her writing to remark that simple things can transform our realities. Walker emphasizes...
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