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Oultlook on Life Depicted in Alice Walker's, In Search of Our Mothers' Gardens: Womanist Prose

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Some people have the natural ability to sing, and some have the natural flowing movements that produce an exceptional dance. Others have the ability to paint, to transfer pigment into a vibrant representation of life through the painter’s eyes. Alice Walker's mother was a woman who had the ability to make plants thrive and flowers bloom. She could trim a plant in such a way that despite being broken, it grew more. Alice’s mother did not own the palace of Versailles nor was she responsible for the vast gardens around it, yet she always made whatever shabby space her family lived in as flourishing and as bright as any great garden.

Alice’s mother had a passion for plant life. Any spare moment she had would be spent tending to her garden. Alice describes her mother’s habits as such: "Before she left home for the fields she watered her flowers, chopped up the grass and laid out new beds. When she returned from the fields she might divide clumps of bulbs, dig a cold pit, uproot and replant roses, or prune branches from her taller bushes or trees- until night came and it was too dark to see.” (Walker 150). Enchanted by the garden, her mother’s green thumb drew her in, even if it meant going before and after a hard day in the fields. Not only did she love gardening, but she was exceedingly skilled in her ability to grow her plants. Her skill was described by Alice as "magic". Not only did Alice notice this extraordinary skill from her mother- being able to cultivate such a beautiful, bountiful, diverse garden in what little land she was on, caught the attention of many

people that spanned beyond the own city she lived in. Recognizing her mother’s aptitude, Alice stated “…Whatever rocky soil she landed on, she turned into a garden.” (...

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This woman I envision is someone who makes the most out of any situation- be it tough living situations, money troubles, or even a death of a loved one. Re-phrasing the quote "…Whatever rocky soil she landed on, she turned into a garden.” (Walker 150). To reveal what I see within it, I would render it as "Whatever life throws at her, she turns to the good within it." The "rocky soil" is the turbulent happenings of her life, and the "garden" is her delightful outlook, her way to see the positive within the negative. Just as the figurative meaning of the quote relates to Alice’s mothers ability to brighten her surroundings and connects the way the slaves survived their tough lives, my interpretation of the figurative meaning of the quote relates to one’s ability to brighten their surroundings no matter how tough their life or what their situation might be.
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