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Literature Study GuidesMeridianPart 3 Section 31 Summary

Meridian | Study Guide

Alice Walker

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Meridian | Part 3, Section 31 : Ending (Pilgrimage) | Summary



In this chapter Meridian and Truman visit a young girl in prison for murdering her child. They are there because the girl's mother and sister told them where to find her. The story has touched Meridian deeply. Truman, too, is affected by the story and seems to be taking on some of Meridian's traits.

Meridian writes two poems about the feelings stirred up in her. Instead of burning them, as she usually does her poems, she adds them to her wall.


Meridian's first poem cries out about her desire to "put an end" to guilt and shame. She has felt guilt over giving up her son for adoption. Truman has felt guilt—about what, he is unsure. She wants people to be free from all of such legacies, to feel love and forgiveness.

As she writes the second poem, she has just been watching people fill in a ditch. This is the same ditch that has taken the lives of so many Chicokema children during the rainy season. She writes: "there is water in the world for us / brought by our friends" and "we, cast out alone / to heal / and re-create / ourselves." Meridian is healing. She is clearly about to move on, living out the writing on her wall.

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