September 3, 2013
Discovering a Persons Inner Beauty: Falling in Love
In the world today we have everything from magazines to billboards that
portray a specific type of beauty; the beauty of ones face, hair and body.
However, that wasn’t the case in Alice Walker’s story, Beauty: When the Other Dancer is the
Self. Alice had no influence of such things as a child. What influenced her most was the love and
support of her close knit family. The nurture that Walker received as a child built her confidence
so high that no one could bring it down! (At least that is what she thought.)
Alice Walker was tormented as a child from the age of eight to fourteen all due to a bad decision
made by an older sibling. The choice that her older brother made that summer 1953, will forever
change her life.
Alice Walker, the youngest of eight children, was known for her borderline
sassy demeanor. At just two and a half years old, Alice was driven and full of life, with an
attitude that states: “I'm going to have anything I want.” Being the youngest did not stop her
from catching a ride to the fair with her daddy because “she's the prettiest” (Walker 95).
Even at a young age, Alice proudly stood in front of the church in her tiny green dress and satin
petticoat and gave her annual Easter speech. The confidence in this little 6 year old child's voice
had the crowd speechless. At 8 years old, Alice was filled with the poise of a grown woman. She
was not only confident in her looks, but also in her schooling.
That was until the day of her "accident".
Alice wasn’t your typical eight year old “girly girl.” The only difference
between Alice and her brothers were the color of their clothes. Alice's brothers received bb guns
as gifts and, because Alice was a girl, she didn't get one. Now that her two brothers had a gun
and she didn’t, she was automatically appointed Indian in their game of Cowboys and Indians
As Alice waited on the top of the garage for one of her brothers- a cowboy- to
come, she felt an extreme shock of pain to her right eye. The last thing Alice expected to
see when she looked down, was her very own brother! Can you imagine the thoughts running
through her confound mind in that very moment? “What was it? What has happened to me?”
After a week passed of what I assume to be very painful, Alice was finally seen by a Doctor.
Later on in the story we learn that her father stopped a white man on the side of the road and
begged him to take him and his little girl to the Doctor. Once it was confirmed what her daddy
needed, the white man drove off, leaving them standing there on the side of the road, in desperate
need of a Doctor. At this point I can just imagine her father feeling defenseless. His eight year
old daughter needed to be taken to the Doctor, but he couldn’t get her there.
Just as the Doctor looked into her eyes, he questioned them, "Why hasn't
she already been seen? The doctor told them, “Eyes are sympathetic, if one is blind the other will
likely become blind too" (Walker 97). Only eight years old, Alice was terrified by the words the
Doctor had just spoken over her. She didn't realize then the impact these words would have on
her later on in life.
Despite the actual thought of being blind, the part that frightened Alice the
most was the way she looked. Can you even fathom the rejection that this innocent eight year old
child had to overcome? Where the bb struck her eye, it left behind an unappealing hunk of
scar tissue. The scar which remained on Alice’s eye lead her to being bullied and picked on
in school. Kids at her school asked her questions about the scar, and if Alice didn't give them
a prompt response, they would try and fight her. In...
Cited: Walker, Alice. "Beauty: When the Other Dancer Is the Self." The Prentice Hall Guide for College Writers.
Custom Ivy Tech edition. Ed. Stephen Reid. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson, 2011. 94-
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