Childhood by Alice Walker

In Alice Walker’s essay “Childhood” she tells her daughter about traditions. Traditions are defined as the handing down of statements, beliefs, legends, customs, information, etc. , from generation to generation, especially by word of mouth or by practice. Walker uses the harvest to tell the story of traditions, and how she learned the traditions. She was taught traditions by her family trough their work habit.
Her family worked on a farm when she was a child, and passed those traditions on to her. Walker uses potatoes as an example of the harvest. She asked her daughter if “she knew what potatoes looked like when they were dug out of the ground”. Walker’s daughter was unsure what the potatoes looked like, so Walker decided she would show her the next morning before heading back to the city. Her daughter thought that watching her mother dig the potatoes out of the ground was extraordinary.
Then Walker started thinking of her childhood, and the enthusiasm that went along with what she is teaching her daughter. She says “When I think of childhood at its best, it is of this magic that I think”. She then goes on to talk about how amazing her family was by saying “Of having a family that daily worked with nature to produce the extraordinary”. She puts a lot of emphasis on the word “magic” and how being in the country is magical.

I can relate with Walker when she says that the country is magical because I too am from the country. Being in the city I don’t feel as free as I want to. In the country I am able to do more of what I want. In the country, everything is fresher, I can see the stars, and everyone around me is friendly. I think Walker wants to pass on the traditions that she learned from her family on to her daughter, so she can pass them on to her children.

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