Meena Alexanders Autobiography

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate September 2001

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passage from Meena Alexander's autobiography, Fault Lines Where do I come from? Who are my ancestors? These are two questions that one asks constantly and commonly. With the diversity of ethnic backgrounds and languages, these questions are severely difficult to answer. In Alexander's autobiography she defines herself as a fault. She feels that without knowing her heritage and with the scars on her face she is nothing but a fault mass.

Appearance has become greatly important to Alexander's life. In addition, "What might it mean to look at myself straight, see myself?" (lines 8 & 9). There are situations in life were one is unable to look in a mirror. Not only because of one's appearances but because of something committed. Something shameful that does not allow any compassion. In Alexander's case was appearances. Her face was disfigured. The window that was to be protecting her caused her a great feeling of insecurity and discontent.

In addition, "The plate glass window that protected me inside the place of delicate teas and sharply flavored asparagus, tuna fish sandwiches with heapings of scallions and mint, glinted back oddly in my face." (lines 1-4). Due to this incident, Alexander felt more insecure. Who would not, from one day to another her face now resembled her inside. Now she looked the way she honestly felt.

Alexander's figure has developed to one of a dreamer. In addition, " In the inner life coiled within me, I have sometimes longed to be a dud on a tree, blooming in due season, the tree trunk will rooted in a sweet, perpetual place." (lines 43-46). Who will hate being a bud on a tree? A bud represents the beginning of something wonderful filled with tranquillity and happiness. The name or kind of plant or tree does...