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Literature Study GuidesMeridianPart 3 Section 33 Summary

Meridian | Study Guide

Alice Walker

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Meridian | Part 3, Section 33 : Ending (Settling Accounts) | Summary



The narrative returns to Truman and Meridian in Chicokema. Truman asks Meridian to love him like she used to. Meridian's response is that she long ago set him free. She says he is free "to be whichever way you like, to be with whoever, or whatever color or sex you like," adding, "what you risk in being truly yourself, the way you want to be, is not the loss of me."

While Meridian does her stretching exercises, feeling healthier than she has in a long time, Truman studies a picture on her wall. It is of the trunk of The Sojourner, with a tiny, new branch growing from it. The picture has Anne-Marion's handwriting on it: "Who would be happier than you that The Sojourner did not die?"

Meridian reminds Truman of what happened the last time they went out to try to register voters—a woman had attacked Meridian and slammed the door in their faces. She explains to Truman that the woman did that because she is appalled Meridian knows why she left her husband. The woman left her husband because he loved his dog more than he loved her. However, she was forced to come back to him because she could not support their five children without him.


Meridian seems very clear about many things, and she is obviously feeling healthy. She knows that every person must be set free from guilt and shame—as indicated in the poems she wrote and put on her wall. She knows that Truman has to figure out who he really is and what he really wants. Readers have learned in the previous chapter that he has figures all this out by the time he returns to Lynne.

She knows, thanks to Anne-Marion, that even The Sojourner has been able to survive brutal treatment. It seems that Anne-Marion, too, has begun to be more peaceful. This chapter begins the resolution of the story.

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