Alice Walker And Patricia Smith Works Literature Comparison

Alice Walker and Patricia Smith Works: Literature Comparison Research Paper

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With the passage of time, the remarkable development with racism appears to be that it’s going to become less visibly violent and more of a silent atrocity. The attitudes and ideas remain the identical in the minds of the affected events, albeit somewhat watered down with permissiveness that’s prevalent within the society. Nevertheless, the varied races can live more socially and amicably together. Moreover, as the passage of time demolishes social boundaries that originally would have been taboo to cross, individuals from varied races come to the realization that they’re more related than different when it comes to being human and that pores and skin shade is a really superficial basis of underestimating any individual. This state of affairs is extra apparent to people who really reside closely with each other such as inter-racial couples in marriage or other mixed race companionships (Hardy, & Style, 1993, p. 3). The rest of the society that doesn’t interact directly with the other race retains its dogmatic views primarily based on stereotypes of race. In the tip, they by no means achieve true concord.

This disharmony is a results of the shortage of a wholesome and unreserved interplay that may have been instrumental in quelling the ridiculous ideas individuals have primarily based on race (Clugston, 2010, p. 7). Consequently, as time passes by together with degeneration of the initial unabashed awe that’s held by the inferiors of the superiors’ qualities into a loathing with time, it turns into apparent that those they hold in such excessive esteem in turn regard them as being less than good. This case confirms their emotions of insecurity, which breeds a sense of insurrection (Robin, 1986, p. 45). This insurrection, which ironically is usually on the point of a level of acceptance of the ‘inferior tag’ stuck on one race, is beautifully captured within the final stanzas of Patricia Smith’s Short Poem What it’s Like to Be a Black Girl (for Those of You Who Aren’t). This paper shall briefly evaluate the works of Walker The Welcome Table and Patricia Smith’s What it’s Like to Be a Black Girl in the context of race and ethnicity by looking into the content, type, and the fashion used by the respective authors.

Analysis and comparability by content, form, and magnificence

Every society that’s characterized by a mixture of racial interfaces is prone to a stage of battle that often arises when some of the characters in the society esteem themselves as superior by virtue of their race and ethnicity, consequently rating the remainder of the people that inhabit the society as being inferior. Interestingly, the discrimination, classification, or stratification that has been most enduring and transient via time has been between being black and being white (Walker, 2003, p. 49). Patricia Smith’s quick poem is very transferring and very uncooked. At first look, it appears simple and fundamental. However, on subsequent critiques, it offers a new dimension to the reader’s understanding of what Patricia tried to speak so exactly. Briefly, the primary explanation she provides is, “First of all, it’s being 9 years old and feeling such as you’re not finished, like your edges are wild, like there’s one thing, every thing, mistaken” (Smith Lines 1-four).

This stanza is a depiction of the sensation of unworthiness that’s hooked up to being black that begins from a very tender age. While growing up, it is regular for adolescents of all races to have insecurities. However, with black youngsters, this search for one’s identification is further compounded with having to consider that, they are not white on high of the pimples, child fat, and drama in their private lives. This case is epitomized as the best state to be. The current compilation of society members often comprises descendants of the preliminary occupants of that region. The outstanding tendency with racism seems to be that, with the passage of time, it becomes less visibly violent and extra of a silent atrocity. The thoughts-set and goals remain in the minds of the victims. However, they will live more collectively and cordially as one. However, as time goes by coupled with the deterioration of the unique shameless fearfulness that held by the weak of the superiors’ quality into a disgust issue, it becomes evident that the individuals they place in such excessive regard in flip look upon them as being less than ideal.

This assertion is an evidence of their feelings of timidity and the proliferation of a sense of insurgence. This temporary rationalization of the sample of racism is finest depicted in the composition and socialization of the United States of America, which is the hub of all diversity, but which is also one of the largest victims of racism. While nonetheless in the context of the United States, it is important to look into the origin of racial scruples between whites and blacks. Such an evaluation turns the researcher to the era of slavery by which black individuals who the white masters used and owned for labor. They had been known for their strength and resilience in extremely harsh dwelling situations, which in turn led to their centuries of bondage under the white population.

This slavery era has led to the misunderstanding held by white individuals of the black people’s restricted capacities as human beings (Racism in America, 2002). When white masters in the south found that a black individual may learn, it is interesting that they had been aghast and taken aback by such a risk. An goal evaluate of this historical past does not substantiate any of the misinformation held by both race of the respective races. Instead, it depicts those who hold such ideologies as being uninformed and subjectively biased on the idea of an unfounded variable, which is the color of 1’s pores and skin.

The poem is much systematic as this sense of inadequacy advises the following stanzas, which says, “its dropping food coloring/ in your eyes to make them blue and suffering/ their burn in silence. It’s popping a bleached/ White mophead over the kinks of your hair and/ Primping in front of mirrors that deny your reflection” (Smith Lines 4-9). Because of the disgrace one feels for having very kinky hair, such a young person would attempt her level finest to measure as much as her white colleagues’ perfection by imitating their seems. This most likely explains all the hair extensions and different faux hair that floods the European market, as the varied races make an try at conforming to what they really feel is superior. This point is somewhat complex particularly if considered within the gentle of the Africans’ response to Europeans during and after the scramble and partition of Africa.

Of specific emphasis is South Africa based on how it has reacted to the Apartheid rule of their British colonizers. South African ladies put on their pure hair and shun any chemical substances or styling that makes their hair seem like white girls’s hair in any means. Perhaps the reason for this distinction is that, in Africa, the whites have been the minorities whereas the Africans have been the bulk. Consequently, they maintained their individuality in a bid to defy the westernization that was being preached to them by people who exercised imperialism over them. On the opposite hand, blacks that are on the European soil don’t have any sense of authentic belonging. As such, they attempt to adapt to the majorities’ ways of life in addition to perceptions, which they do really well until the topic of race comes up, with the position of the sufferer and aggressor being taken by respective races.

On the opposite hand, The Welcome Table by Walker is a short story that revolves across the Montgomery unsung hero that was Georgia Gilmore (1920-1990). The Welcome Table begins my stating that the writer’s take on the civil period when he thinks back to the period, which based on him, was not the Civil warfare in 1964 however the struggle that culminated within the profitable of that struggle and hence the lives of the major players prior to the actual warfare. He states that, of specific curiosity to him, usually are not the actual signatories of the agreement that might be a significant milestone in enforcing the integration of the black and white society. Rather, he upholds the much less recognized members of the society similar to Georgia Gilmore whose major contribution was the food and spirit of fellowship that she created and disseminated among the black and white folks with out discrimination.

She was responsible for starting the “club from nowhere”, which just by promoting snacks to the members of the MIA (Montgomery Improvement Association), made the most substantial contributions for fund for the association. Each time when the membership’s president stood to announce the realized funds, the home would rise in jubilation for its internet contributions. Moreover, she was assured in her place as a black lady since she labored at the National Lunch Company, which was responsible for serving lunches to all Montgomery folks together with the black and white despite the requisite ‘at least seven toes’ barrier that separated the races. When she testified within the King’s (Martin Luther Jr.) trial after the 1978 Bus Boycott, she was candid and true as her testament led to her being fired on the National Lunch Company.

Nevertheless, the king sponsored her into starting her personal business, which would be the supply of true fellowship and integration in Montgomery. In her humble house, which was her major place of work, she made meals for presidents similar to Jefferson and Robert Kennedy and fed Martin Luther King Jr. more often than not. She is remembered for her equal remedy of all those that went to her house. This meant name-calling at every alternative. For occasion, heifer and whore had been a standard feature in her vocabulary. When she handed on in 1990, the Friends’ Supper Club was convened in her honor. The honoring plan subsists even thus far. The concern of race is evident within the story.

Walker’s place all through the story is that food could possibly be the solution to the numerous race-based issues that have continued to threaten the lives of individuals. He makes use of the example of Randall Williams’ eldest son Horace to indicate how he grew to become built-in into this amicable surroundings from birth, which has culminated in his complete acceptance of white and black folks as one. On the contrary, regardless of having experienced the benefit of food supply throughout the races, Morris Dees who holds the position of the director within the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) doesn’t imagine that meals could be the solution to racial variations between blacks and whites.

Comparison between Walker’s and Smith’s works

By content, the brief poem by Smith is an expression of the plight of being a black girl in a white society. It is fraught with anger and frustration, with evident attempts to verify racism points. It is full of compromises that could possibly be destructive to 1’s sense of self-value, as expressed within the traces, “it’s studying to say fuck with grace however learning to fuck with out it (Smith Lines sixteen-17). Moreover, it also encapsulates the plight of being a lady within the society, which appears down upon ladies as being the weaker or inferior intercourse as expressed by the stanzas on whistles from males based mostly on a girl’s puberty-related developments and the satisfaction of having a man beneath her spell ultimately. By comparability, The Welcome Table’s expression of racism is neither bitter nor self-pitying. Rather, it is more of a report of resilience and an awareness of non-public value as a girl.

A better comparability is arrived at when the evaluation narrows right down to a direct review of the lady in Patricia Smith’s poem and the lady in Walker’s story. These are two apparently different girls. However, one has to keep in mind that there’s an age hole between them. In truth, the poem is somewhat vague on different attitudes and traits of its girl. It could nicely be that Georgia Gilmore felt this stuff as she grew up. Nevertheless, as a substitute of becoming bitter and unproductive or discriminative herself, she selected the higher road. However, the “contempt in her eyes” (Edge, 2000, p. 3), as she testified in courtroom at King’s trial, in addition to her very direct and touching testament of the bus driver’s treatment of ‘niggers’, is a depiction of what might have driven Patricia to write down the work as she did.

The other distinction between the poem and the short story is that the theme in the poem is sexuality whereas the moral is character in the quick story. Whereas the poem portrays a little bit of personality, it’s more about how the black woman and girl understand themselves somewhat than how they react to their surroundings. It reflects the woman’s confusion and dissatisfaction in a private way as though written by the one who experienced those things. On the opposite hand, Walker’s story is reported. It isn’t Georgia’s private account but that of people around her who reported to her. Consequently, the reader will get a mental image of the character as perceived by others and never from her personal notion of herself.

Consequently, her actions within the society and her life are celebrated from a more healthful perspective relative to the lady in Smith’s poem who just comes out as bitter and offended even though Patricia Smith has plenty of admirable qualities apart from those portrayed within the poem. These qualities had been a depiction of how she felt on the time. It is protected to say that each Patricia and Walker chose very fitting titles for his or her works, and that each works are extremely creative and expressive of every of the author’s perceptions.

The most distinguished style utilized by Patricia is hyperbole within the stanza on “legs popping out due to playing an excessive amount of ‘double dutch’” (Smith Stanza 12). Walker uses metaphors and allusion so much, for example when he refers to the insignia exterior Georgia Gilmore’s home and the various landmark occasions in Montgomery. Patricia additionally uses allusion when she talks about Motown. The two authors use the creative privilege of together with otherwise scandalous words of their writing, with Patricia using the word “Fuck” twice (Smith Stanzas 16 and 17) and Walker utilizing “heifer and whore” because the direct quotes of Georgia Gilmore’s name calling, (Edge, 2000, p. 2). The work by Walker is within the form of a short story while Patricia Smith’s work is a short poem.


This paper has carried out a brief review of the literary works What it’s Like to Be a Black Girl (for Those of You Who Aren’t) by Patricia Smith and The Welcome Table by Walker. The two tales are a representative of the phenomenon of racism and ethnicity in the society. However, it’s price noting that, although somewhat backdated, they mirror the salient attitudes towards race as a significant component within the fashionable society. The authors have used very elaborate and concise strategies to depict their thoughts and emotions or attitudes in the direction of race. The effect is an understanding of private struggling faced by the folks whose plight is to belong to a minority group, as well as the depiction of a attainable answer to the variations that exist as a result of race.

Reference List

Clugston, R. (2010). Journey into Literature. San Diego, California: Bridgepoint Education.

Edge, T. (2000). The Welcome Table. New York: The Oxford American.

Hardy, A., & Style, S. (1993). A Poetics of Immediacy: Oral narrative and the quick story. Academic Search Premier, 27(1), 3.

Racism in America. (2002). allaboutpopular Retrieved from

Robin, P. (1986). Being Black and Female, an analysis of literature. Cambridge: Massachussetts Institute of Technology.

Walker, A. (2003). In search of our Mother’s Gardens. San Diego: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.





Type Research Paper Pages 9 Words 2539 Subjects

Comparative Literature
Language ?? English

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