Essay about Dancing with Self

Submitted By dinahkinley
Words: 907
Pages: 4

Arleen Harlan
Kelsey A. Sandy
English 111
10 February 2013

When the Dancer is the Self, Response The Alice Walker essay, “Beauty: When the Other Dancer is the Self”, deals with how we perceive our own beauty and what molds and changes our thinking as life surprises us with changes. Walker takes us back through a time machine to the different stages in her life and shows us how circumstances continually changed her thinking about her appearance. I believe Ms. Walker wrote this essay in order to give her readers a glimpse of her personality, thoughts, and feelings. I enjoyed reading between the lines and hopefully finding how some of her personality traits, and life changing events, helped mold her into the great author she became. As a very young child, Alice judged her beauty through the eyes of her friends and family. She is an adorable child with cute ways to gain her family’s approval and compliments. “Oh, isn’t she the cutest thing” was a phrase she often heard (Reid 96). As Alice got a little older, she was still considered to be very pretty, and everyone also admired her cute ways and happy spirit. She was, I believe, very smug and proud of that fact. One day her parents gave two of her brothers new BB guns. Unfortunately, her brothers were playing with their new BB guns and accidently shot a pellet into her right eye, which ultimately blinded her in that eye, and affected her appearance to the point that, not only was she not considered cute, but many people considered her to be ugly and were cruel enough to point that out to her. Additionally, the doctor told her that often when one eye is injured in that way, the other eye will also become sightless. Alice became very aware of her appearance, and lost her self-confidence. Unfortunately, the Walker family moved around that time, and Alice had to deal with a scary new school and unfriendly classmates. She tried to hide her disfigurement by always looking down so people wouldn’t notice the white scar on her right eye and became very introverted. When she was 14 her eye disfigurement was partially corrected, and she began to feel better about her looks, even though her right eye still had a “small bluish crater where the scar tissue was” (Reid 98). After the appearance of her right eye was improved through surgery, Alice was transformed back into a different person, or so she thought. She became popular again, attracted a boyfriend, and graduated high school as valedictorian. Her right eye still wandered now and then, but was no longer the central point of attention in her life. Walker went through many years feeling sorry for herself because her beauty had been marred. Then, thirty years after the accident, she remembered what the doctor had told her about the possibility of becoming blind in both eyes, and she knew how lucky she was to still be able to enjoy the beauties of the world. When her daughter, who was almost three years old, asked her, “Mommy, where did you get that world in your eye?” she realized that her daughter accepted her as she was and did not consider her to be ugly. (Reid 98) Later, as she was dancing around the room, she imagined another dancer joining her. The other dancer came from her own inner self, and she finally accepted herself as she was. I