Alice Walker's Beauty: When The Other Dancer Is The Self

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People can be criticized, harassed, or made fun of for almost anything in life, whether they can help it or not. Alice Walker’s essay, “Beauty: When the Other Dancer is the Self,” is a story that depicts the harassment and embarrassment in a young girl’s life. The theme behind the story is based on the struggle and battle that Walker goes through due to her need to recognize her inner beauty and outer beauty for years on end. Walker uses many literary elements to portray the theme of her essay, which can be seen in her use of conflict, tone, and symbolism. In her essay, Walker is challenged by the conflict of the battle between her inner consciousness and the attitude of the people around her. The tone of the writing can be seen by exploring the constant struggle she faces regarding beauty, wanting to be beautiful, and feeling beautiful. Finally, symbolism can be shown in how Walker discovers that beauty is not always the most important trait to have in life. A tremendous deal of conflict is placed on Walker’s essay as she depicts what happens when her most valuable possession gets taken away, her beauty. From the time she is two years…show more content…
She realizes beauty is not based on outward appearances but what lies in one’s heart and soul. She overcomes her beliefs that she needs beauty in order to be successful in life. Although, she was given a boost of confidence, because she has a portion of the scar tissue from the accident removed; Walker learns that beauty is not the most important trait to possess. She illustrates this by aphorizing “Now that I’ve raised my head I win the boyfriend of my dreams… I have plenty of friends… classwork comes from my lips as faultlessly as Easter speeches did, and I leave high school as valedictorian, most popular student, and queen”. (Walker 41) She sees this is true when the most beautiful girl in school was shot and killed by her
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