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Literature Study GuidesMeridianPart 1 Section 10 Summary

Meridian | Study Guide

Alice Walker

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Meridian | Part 1, Section 10 : Meridian (The Attainment of Good) | Summary



As this chapter opens, the focus is again on Meridian's mother, on her life as perceived by Meridian. She describes it as a "blind, enduring, stumbling" journey, devoid of any reflections beyond her immediate world of family, neighborhood, and church. She is oblivious to anything but the narrow confines of that life. She openly complains about her husband, "whose faults, she felt, more than made up for her ignorance of whatever faults might exist elsewhere."


This chapter between, "Clouds" and "Awakening," helps readers to understand what Meridian absolutely does not want for her own life. She doesn't want oblivion, a life in the clouds like the one her mother has lived. Her postpartum depression has left her in a fog, but she somehow knows that she must live in a bigger world than the one her mother has inhabited. What she views as "Good" is not what her mother views.

Mrs. Hill's refusal to vote in her lifetime is particularly commented upon in this chapter, and that is noteworthy. The only thing that has caught Meridian's interest at all is the voter registration drive and resulting firebombing. This is where her awakening, described in the next chapter, comes from.

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