“Roselily” by Alice Walker

Categories: Alice Walker

“Roselily”, written by Alice Walker, is a story about an African American woman that is getting married to a Muslim. As the preacher was going through the normal wedding rituals she reflected back on her past and the past of African Americans in general. Roselily thought about how her new life would be with her new man and wondered if her children would like him and get along with him. Roselily was also worried about moving and uprooting her family to a new, strange place.

Roselily knew that she and her soon to husband would definitely have conflicting religious ideas, and she is not too happy about having to sit with a covered face in his place of worship. My favorite part though is when the preacher says, “to join this man and this woman”. The way Roselily thought of it as being bound and tied like a slave as her ancestors had been is just great, vivid description, and I can just picture Roselily and her man tied and bound together for the rest of their lives.

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I feel Roselily referred to her husband as nothing more than a ball and chain when she thought this.

I also believe that Roselily only married this man because she felt that it was necessary. Roselily knew that he could and would provide for her and her family to the best of his abilities. Roselily also thought about how much she just wanted to rest and just stay at home. All day long Roselily had to sew workingmen’s garments.

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She felt that there must be more to life than what she experienced on an everyday basis. Another good point Roselily makes is when she thinks that even though African Americans had been freed a long time ago, she was still a slave but just one that got paid for her work. Roselily thinks about how if she stayed at home and got rested that she would have to find something else to occupy her time.

So, Roselily came to the conclusion that they can just start making babies, and she could be a stay at home mom to raise the children. I think that it is made to be an obvious point that Roselily is just tired and needs a break. Who would not want one after walking in her shoes for a day? However, I do not agree with her wanting more children. Roslily thinks about how hard it is already with three children. How in the world would she have the stamina or energy to raise another child and possibly even more? It is great that she is, I feel, willing to sacrifice her happiness for her children to have a happier and better life.

All in all, “Roselily” was definitely not my favorite story. I found that it was a little hard to follow and did not make a lot of sense. First of all, the fact that there were two stories going on completely confused me. There was her current story of Roselily being at the altar and getting married and then the other stories or her reflecting back on not only her past but also the past of Roselily’s ancestors. I found myself having to go back and re read several times before I actually got what was going on. Also, I am a strong believer that one should not have to marry someone who he or she is not happy with.

I understand that the man Roselily was getting married to was a way to ease her and her family’s burden, but that is just one sacrifice Roselily should not have had to make. I think that Roselily and her children could have survived long enough on her salary as a seamstress for her to find the man she really and truly wanted to be with. No one should have to settle. Lastly, I found that the story just did not make sense. Why would someone marry a person that did not have the same religious views as them? To me, that is just asking for a lifetime of struggle and conflict. Roselily even talked about how much she is was going to dread having to sit with her face covered, apart from her husband when they go to worship.

Work cited

  1. Walker, Alice. “Roselily.” The Bedford Introduction to Literature. Ed. Michael Meyer. 9th ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s print, 2011. 253-256. Print.

Cite this page

“Roselily” by Alice Walker. (2016, Dec 12). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/roselily-by-alice-walker-essay

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