Discussing Coretta King Revisted

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Reading Critically: Questions for Discussion: Coretta King Revisited In "Coretta King, Revisited," the writer, Alice Walker, begins her essay by remembering her first interview with Mrs. King in order to give me, the reader, a starting point from which to base my own interpretation of the changes which have taken place in the life of Mrs. King. This first information helps me to establish a visual picture of Mrs. King as she was at that time. This visualization allows me to map any changes that may take place within Mrs. King's character as the essay progresses.

Mentioning Mrs. Bennett and Mrs. Farris gives me insight as to the importance of Mrs. King. It appears that her time is in such high demand that she must now have assistants to help her get things done. Mentioning Obidiah Scott enables me to have soon understanding of the type of parental guidance Mrs.

King had as a child. Telling me a little about Mr. Scott also gives me some idea of the strides in racial progress that have been made since Mrs. King's childhood. Presenting the episode with the recorder helps me to see Mrs. King on a different level. This level draws my attention to the fact that Mrs. King is a real person. This Mrs. King is one who not only deals with such profound issues as racial struggle and personal loss, but also is a person who deals with simple matters of everyday life. By allowing me to see this aspect of Mrs. King's character I am able to make a personal connection with her.

Walker establishes credibility by being able to make me feel empathy for both herself and Mrs. King. I see that the death of Dr. King and Walker's subsequent hearing of Mrs. King's television address is a major turning point in her life. Mrs. Walker realizes that she must rise above her own self pity and try to continue expressing and pursuing the ideals established by Dr. King. With the clear and logical way the events in this essay are presented I am able to see the significant influence the Kings had on her. Understanding the relationship between Coretta and Martin enables me to feel empathy for Coretta at the loss of her husband.

The details pertaining to the changes of Mrs. King's appearance allow me to become aware of the passage of time and her progress of maturity. This awareness is important to me because I can then comprehend the personality changes in Mrs. King. I have been able to see Mrs. King grow from a "bubbly" young girl to a mature woman. Aside from the physical aspect of Mrs. King, I am able to see, through each of these descriptions, that she is strong-willed and self-assured.

I feel that Walker's purpose for interviewing Mrs. King is two-fold. Her primary purpose for interviewing Mrs. King is to gain her own personal insight. Through these interviews, the writer realizes her own self-assurance and strength. She comes to believe that no matter what problems might arise; she can look within herself and find the strength to overcome them. The secondary purpose for interviewing Mrs. King is to pay homage to someone who has had such a positive impact on the Walker's life. Mrs. Walker idolized and respected Dr. King and interviews Coretta because she is his widow.

The one quotation in this essay which strikes me as being most important is, "Though my heart is heavy with grief from having suffered an irreparable loss, my faith in the redemptive will of God is stronger today than ever before." This quote is important because through it I can see the strength of character Mrs. King possesses and the source of that strength. I am able to feel the determination and drive of Mrs. King. I can also see from this quote that Mrs. King is humble to the will of God and that she is faithful and devoted to Him. This quote was important to Walker because it was the point at which she opens her eyes and decides she must move forward in her life.

This essay has enabled me to become more familiar with Mrs. King. I perceive her more clearly as a complete person, rather than simply seeing her as the wife of Martin Luther King. I think Walker wanted me to have a better impression of Mrs. King since both Dr. and Mrs. King came to be so important to her. I draw this conclusion based on some of the statements Walker made throughout her essay. In the second paragraph, Walker states that she is "delighted" at seeing the plainness of decor in the King home. She conveys a feeling of being comfortable in the Kings' house. In the fifth paragraph, Walker first shows Mrs. King's strength of character by such statements as, "I was far less calm than she appeared to be" and, "...she sounded so much like her husband that for a minute I though I was hearing his voice." Walker has already expressed, quite plainly, in paragraph four, that she idolized Dr. King. By stating that, when Mrs. King spoke, Walker thought she heard Dr. King's voice, she is relaying to me the beginning of her own transition of seeing Mrs. King only as a wife to that of seeing her as a leader. Further along, in paragraph nine, Walker talks about the difference between the Coretta King of 1962 and the Coretta King she is interviewing after Dr. King's death. Walker writes about seeing a different Mrs. King than the one her children see. She uses such words as "cautious" and "cautious" and "careful" when she speaks of Mrs. King's desire to be interpreted correctly. I learn, in paragraph ten, of Mrs. King's commitment to her family. I also learn, in paragraph fourteen, of Mrs. King's admission of struggling with loneliness. Later, in paragraph twenty-two, Walker expresses her interpretation of Mrs. King's motherly nature. She states that Coretta is "concerned but firm." In the final paragraph, Walker reminisces about the years since she first met Coretta King. Although she still gives Martin King the primary credit for leading the way for Southern blacks, Walker acknowledges that is was "Martin King, with Coretta at his side"¦." Walker has been very adept in her ability to make me feel as though I know Mrs. King personally. She has described so many aspects of Mrs. King's character that I cannot help having a better understanding of this remarkable woman.