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Beauty: When the Other Dancer is the Self by Alice Walker
Transcript of Beauty: When the Other Dancer is the Self by Alice Walker
“This comment of the doctor’s terrifies me. But is really how I look that bothers me most. Where the BB pellet struck there is a glob of whitish scar tissue, a hideous cataract, on my eye… Not at the “cute” little girl, but at her scar. For six years I do not stare at anyone, because I do not raise my head” (444). “I am eight, and for the first time, doing poorly in school, where I have been something of a whiz since I was four” (Walker 444) 8 years old Age 6 Citation Age 6
“Naturally I say my speech without stammer or pause, unlike those who stutter, stammer, or, worst of all, forget. This is before the word “beautiful” existed in people’s vocabulary, but “Oh, isn’t she the cutest thing!” frequently floats my way. “And got so much sense!” they gratefully add… for which thoughtful addition I thank them to this day” (Walker 442). Age 2.5 That night, as I do almost every night, I abuse my eye. I rant and rave at it in front of the mirror. I plead with it to clear up before morning. I tell it I hate and despise it. I do not pray for sight. I pray for beauty” (Walker 445). Age 12 Age 14 “Almost immediately I become a different person from the girl who does not raise her head. Or so I think. Now that I’ve raised by head I win the boyfriend of my dreams. Now that I’ve raised my head I have plenty of friends. Now that I’ve raised my head classwork comes from my lips as faultlessly as Easter speeches did, and I leave high school valedictorian, most popular student, and queen…” (Walker 446) Age 27 “Since her birth I have worried about her discovery that her mother’s eyes are different from other people. Will she be embarrassed? I think. What will she say?” (Walker 448) “…she suddenly focuses on my eye. Something inside me cringes, gets ready to try to protect myself ” (Walker 448). “There was a world in my eye. And I saw that it was possible to love it: that in fact, for all it had taught me of shame and anger and inner vision, I did love it” (Walker 448). “As I dance, whirling and joyous, happier than I’ve ever been in my life, another bright-faced dancer joins me. We dance and kiss each other and hold each other through the night. The other dancer has obviously come through all right, as I have done. She is beautiful, whole, and free. And she is also me” (Walker 448). 38 & Present “The shock of that possibility – and gratitude for over twenty-five years of sight – sends me literally to my knees” (Walker 447). “”Because in all probability,” I say in a rush, “my eye won’t be straight”” (Walker 446) “”And besides I thought you’d made your peace with that”” (Walker 446). “And I suddenly remember that I have” (Walker 446). Mid-Life Crisis “Years later, in the throes of a mid-life crisis, I ask my mother and sister whether I changed after the “accident.” “No,” they say, puzzled. “What do you mean?”” (Walker 444). In Beauty: When the Other Dance is the Self Alice Walker contemplates through memories of her experience, weather she has changed as a result having been shot in the eye. In her essay, Beauty: When the Other Dance is the Self, Alice Walker narrates her experience being blinded in one eye as a child; subsequently contemplating how the injury has shaped her identity as a women writer through the techniques and style Walker uses within the essay. “As I dance, whirling and joyous, happier than I’ve ever been in my life, another bright-faced dancer joins me. We dance and kiss each other and hold each other through the night. The other dancer has obviously come through all right, as I have done. She is beautiful, whole, and free. And she is also me” (Walker 448). 50 Essays 2nd Edition composed by Samuel Cohen
http://paintedbloomers.wordpress.com/document/ “It was great fun being cute. But then, one day, it ended” (Walker 442). What do I mean? (Walker 444) Did I imagine the anguish of never looking up? (Walker 445) I remember: (Walker 446)
I remember: (Walker 447)
But I might have missed seeing the desert! (Walker 447) But mostly, I remember this: (Walker 447) ”You did not change,” they say ” (Walker 444) ”You did not change,” they say ” (Walker 445) “ ON SIGHTI am so thankful I have seenThe DesertAnd the creatures in the desertAnd the desert Itself.The desert has its own moonWhich I have seenWith my own eye,There is no flag on it.Trees of the desert have armsAll of which are always upThat’s is because the moon is upThe sun is upAlso the skyThe StarsCloudsNone with flags. If there were flags, I doubtThe trees would point.Would you? (Walker 447) The End. questions? questions? Beauty: When the Other Dancer is The Self
by Alice Walker