Course Hero. "Meridian Study Guide." Course Hero. 16 Mar. 2018. Web. 6 June 2023. <https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Meridian/>.
Course Hero. (2018, March 16). Meridian Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved June 6, 2023, from https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Meridian/
(Course Hero, 2018)
Course Hero. "Meridian Study Guide." March 16, 2018. Accessed June 6, 2023. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Meridian/.
Course Hero, "Meridian Study Guide," March 16, 2018, accessed June 6, 2023, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Meridian/.
Readers learn at the beginning of this chapter that a newly strong Meridian, with a head of soft new hair, is about to move on. She will "return to the world cleansed of sickness." Truman senses that before him stands a new Meridian, and he rejoices in her eagerness to be fully alive again.
After the two old friends hug, "long [and] lingeringly," Truman realizes he is now living in the house alone. He becomes dizzy and climbs into Meridian's sleeping bag and puts on her discarded cap. The novel ends with an awareness regarding Meridian: "The sentence of bearing the conflict in her own soul ... must now be borne in terror by all the rest of them."
Because readers have already read Chapter 32, they know that Truman will not last long in Meridian's role. It is too much for anyone but her to bear. Yet she has been able to grow strong and to heal through her solitary suffering. She, like the biblical character Lazarus whom she compares herself to, has risen from a type of death to live again in the world on her own, accomplishing what she alone will do. Others will have to do this on their own, too.