Literature Study GuidesMeridianPart 3 Section 32 Summary

Meridian | Study Guide

Alice Walker

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Meridian | Part 3, Section 32 : Ending (Atonement: Later, in the Same Life) | Summary



The chapter is written in italics, which indicates it is an interruption of the narrative—in this case, as the title indicates, describing a time in the future. It tells of Truman going back to Lynne. He tells her he loves her still, but he doesn't desire her. Rather, he wants to provide for her and be her friend.


Lynne seems somewhat devastated by the news that Truman does not desire her; she has always wanted black men to love her, to want her. She suggests that perhaps they could start again, they could go back to the South and try to recreate that time when they worked so closely together. But Truman wisely responds to her, "What for?" He knows those days are behind them. He realizes any authenticity between them must be based on solid companionship and true love, without drama or the desire to prove something. Truman has grown, with Meridian's help, into an other-oriented person rather than a showy, self-serving, very physical man.

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