A Rose Lily by Alice Walkers

A Rose Lily by Alice Walkers

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My reaction to Alice Walkers piece ARoseLily@ was quite interesting and confusing. Interesting in the way she wrote the wedding ceremony different from the main story. Confusing because you, the reader, have to read really carefully to see what the plot was. Overall, once I got the hang of reading her style it became clear to me how she felt and what the story was that she was trying to introduce. There was definitely a lot of symbolism in the story. First of all, the name A Roselily @ means A beauty and perfection, happiness and grace and lily means purity, and guiltless@(Symbolism in literature pg.3)
But this symbolism doesn’t come across in the story, instead the exact opposite of there definition comes across. For instance, from the beginning of the story she talks about having three kids with her at the time of the ceremony which definitely means she=s not as pure as the lily portrays her to be. One of the other things that strike me about this reading is how she thinks of marriage. “She thinks of ropes, chains, handcuffs, his religion”(Walker pg.1). She uses the ropes, chains, and handcuffs as a way of letting the reader know that by getting married, she thinks that’s going to weigh and tied her down. But then she contradicts herself by letting the reader know that after the ceremony the couple will be moving to Chicago to try and rebuild something better then what they have now.
As the ceremony goes on it seems like her whole life must be flashing before her eyes. She starts to think about a fourth son that she had, but that she let the father keep him since he was pretty well off money and education wise. She goes on to say he couldn’t live with “Roselily”, which brought me to the conclusion that maybe her name is Roselily. Which of course brings light to the picture because everything her name stood for she wasn’t, except for the fact that she was trying to be righteous in getting married and making a new life for her other three children.
Another thing about this reading that stood out at me was the fact that on her wedding day she was still having mixed emotions.
She doesn’t even agree with the rules of his religion. The idea of the man marrying one of her sisters seems better to her then him marrying her.

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She thinks she’s too old for a change this drastic and that her sisters are ready for something new and fresh. She doesn’t like the life that he wants her to have. “Her place will be in the home he has said, repeatedly, promising her rest she had prayed for. But now she wonders. When she is rested, what will she do? Her hands will be full. Full of what? Babies. She is not comforted” (walker pg.2). I guess she feels she already had the babies she wanted and now it was her time and her chance to conquer what it was that she wanted all her life. But of course if he knows this I’m sure he wouldn’t be so willingly to let her stay home.
     She continues to have doubts of the marriage as it takes place. She wishes that she‘d had more time to let him explain what it was exactly that he wanted from her and with her. But she was just so eager to leave that small town and build a life that was respectable and free. She confuses me on this paragraph because she talks about being free it seems in another sense, besides the way the marriage and the move can free her. Does she mean that he can free her from being categorized as a woman that has three children and no father, or He can free her from not being respected as to someone who is now married can become respected since she found someone to care for her and her children, or does she mean all of the above.
As the ceremony comes to an end, her thoughts seem to collect and she starts to focus on what she does love about this man she is about to marry and there new life together, I’m guessing that all the things that this marriage can bring her out weighs any little doubt in her head of what she might really be getting herself into, and what the vows of marriage really mean. But you can still sense her uncertainty till the end of the reading.


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