Critical Essays on Alice Walker

By Ikenna Dieke | Go to book overview
joy of their presence, that indeed, I am not alone" ( "Writing"453).
5.
In this essay idealism is employed in relation to the theory of metaphysical idealism, which regards reality as essentially spiritual and which views the the intrinsic nature and essence of reality as consciousness. Monistic (which is here interchangeable with holistic) comes from the word monism; monism essentially relates to the metaphysical view that reality is a unitary organic whole. In sociological terms, it refers to the harmonious force which unites the laws of man and nature. Thus monistic idealism, as employed in this essay, is the consciousness of the intrinsic spiritual bond between humans, on the one hand, and between humans and the natural/ecological/destinal order, on the other.
6.
Part I (1-141) contains 21 narrative movements; Part II (143-201) contains II narrative movements; Part III (203-34) contains 3 narrative movements; Part IV (235-83) contains 4 narrative movements; Part V (285-330) contains 8 narrative movements; and Part VI (331-416) contains 14 narrative movements. The total number of iconic narrative movements is 61.
7.
In an interview with John O'Brien, Walker underscores the eternal, inextricable linkage between nature and the idea of deity: "Certainly I don't believe there is a God beyond nature. The world is God. Man is God. So is a leaf or a snake. So when Grange Copeland refuses to pray at the end of [ The Third Life of Grange Copeland], he is refusing to be a hypocrite. He does, however, appreciate the humanity of man-womankind as a God worth embracing. To him, the greatest value a person can attain is full humanity, which is a state of oneness with all things, and a willingness to die (or to live) so that the best that has been produced can continue to live in someone else" (205).
8.
Walker's ecofeminist activism is loudly proclaimed here. Zedé, Lissie, Fanny, and to some extent, Mary Jane Briden, seem like Walker's alter egos in the struggle to preserve the earth against man's desecrating madness.
9.
This view of Walker's use of language in The Temple of My Familiar--the use of language for fostering ecumenical spirit among people--is borrowed from Emmanuel Obiechina's interpretation of similar use of language in the West African, tradition-oriented rural novel. And I hereby express my unreserved indebtedness. See especially chapter 7 in Obiechina.

WORKS CITED

Alcorn John. The Nature Novel from Hardy to Lawrence. New York: Columbia University Press, 1977.

Bickman Martin. The Unsounded Centre: Jungian Studies in American Romanticism. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1980.

Cranston Sylvia, and Carey Williams. Reincarnation: A New Horizon in Science, Religion, and Society. New York: Julian, 1984.

Donovan Josephine. Feminist Theory. New York: Frederick Ungar Publishing Company, 1985.

Fleenor Juliann E., ed. The Female Gothic. Montreal: Eden Press, 1983.

Gates Henry Louis Jr. The Signifying Monkey: A Theory of Afro-American Literary Criticism. New York: Oxford University Press, 1988.

Jackson Shirley. "African World View in Five Afro-Hispanic Novels." "Afro-Hispanic Review 5" ( 1986): 37-42.

McCormick John. Fiction as Knowledge. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1976,

McNulty J. Bard. Modes of Literature. Boston: Houghton, 1977.

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