To be independent is to be without limitation and free of civilization, all the while, the thought of being free of civilization, without limitation is overwhelmingly wild. In the novel Meridian, by Alice Walker, the short presence of a character addressed as The Wild Child symbolizes the theme of self awareness and pursuing one’s life independently. Alice walker uses the short presence of The Wild Child as an influential factor when developing her main character Meridian. The use of characters from Meridian’s ancestry, such as Feather Mae (Meridian’s great grandmother) and inanimate objects, such as The Sojourner (tree), further support the theme that The Wild Child represents.
Notably, Alice Walker writes her Meridian through a series of flashbacks through third person omnicient narration. The novel opens with Truman Held arriving in Chicokema, Georgia, to meet up with Meridian, his former lover. Meridian is seen escorting a group of children, who were mostly black and impoverished, to an attraction displaying a mummified woman in which they were not permitted to attend. A shift then occurs to a flashback in New York City where Meridian, ten years prior, had not been willing to proclaim that she would kill on behalf of an African American revolutionary organization. Another flashback then occurs to when Meridian had been a child who chose not to accept Jesus into her life despite her mother’s religious devotion, this urges Meridian’s mother to withdraw her love towards her daughter. The novel continues to shift unravelling a countless number of memories that contributed to the reasoning behind why Meridian resulted to her introverted ways. Meridian seeks guidance and a sense of belonging that she never received from her mother, but finds that traditional paths in life do not provide her any comfort. Instead she cultivates a keen sense of dedication towards the civil rights movement, which gives her drive throughout her young adult years. Meridian...
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