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Possessing the Secret of Joy

4 Ratings: 0.0
A book by Alice Walker

From Publishers Weekly   Pulitzer Prize winner Walker illustrates the truism that violence begets violence in this strong-voiced but often stridentan obvious novel? and polemical novel. The focus of Walker's rage is the practice of female circumcision … see full wiki

Author: Alice Walker
Genre: Literature & Fiction
Publisher: Washington Square Press (January 1, 1997)
1 review about Possessing the Secret of Joy

Review of Alice Walker's Possessing the Secret of Joy

  • Mar 6, 2009
  • by
Rating:
+4
Alice Walker states that the secret of joy is "RESISTANCE", which sums up the book nicely. But there is more to this single word. Resistance to what? Resistance to injustice, in this case specifically the injustice of genital mutilation...but Walker clearly means for this resistance to include other forms of injustice. Such as, you ask? Racism, sexism, bigotry in any form.

Walker's books, including this one, convey the psychological damage of perpetual abuse of a person throughout not only their own life but the life of their ancestors. Therefore, racism and sexism heap psychological damage on their victims for enerations--not to mention the clear sociological problems that germinate from them.

Why does "resistance" bring joy? First, if the injustice is eventually defeated it will bring a new found freedom and autonomy. If nothing else, resistance provides the resister with a moral victory over his or her opponents, which in the end, brings our ill-fated protagonist joy.

The more specific sexual aspect of the book is also embraced by this concept. Resistance to the injustice of genital mutilation, on both the individual and collective level, brings sexual pleasure to the individual and to generations of individuals yet to come. So sexual pleasure also is part of the "secret of joy", only in this case it is a specific instance of what "resistance" can eventually accomplish.

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Possessing the Secret of Joy by Alice Walker
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