Roselilly Essay, Research Paper
In the short story, ?Roselily,? by Alice Walker, the main character is torn between the imprisonment of marriage and the insecurity of single hood. Getting married is supposed to be one of the most joyful and beautiful experiences in a person?s life. However, for Roselily it seems like she is about to make the biggest mistake of her life. ?She thinks of ropes, chains, handcuffs, his religion.? The religion is probably the thing that scares her the most, because of its restrictions. ?His place of worship. Where she will be required to sit apart with covered head.? Arrays of thoughts are running through her head. It seems as though she is trying to convince herself into marrying this man.
In some ways this seems like the right thing to do. She sees it as an opportunity to possibly have a better life, economically. ?But in Chicago. Respect, a chance to build. Her children at last from underneath the detrimental wheel. A chance to be on top.? It is obvious that she is using marriage as a scapegoat from her harsh life. A single mother of three children, working in a sewing plant, she feels tired. However, she is not particularly fond of moving to the north. ?She thinks of the air, the smoke, the cinders. Imagines cinders as big as hailstones, heavy, weighing on the people.? In her mind in Chicago people are not as nice as in the south. ?Wonders how this finds its way into the veins, roping the springs of laughter.? She imagines people not happy there.
She extremely fears his religion; we come to understand this because she mentions it several times throughout the story. ?She thinks of the man who will be her husband, feels shut away from him because of the stiff severity of his
plain black suit. His religion. A lifetime of black and white. Of veils. Covered head.? This to her seems like a confinement because it is not what she is used to. ?Memories crash against her. Memories of being bare to the sun.? She is literally going through a see saw of emotions in a matter of minutes.
In one thought she is happy for not having to go to work. ?Not to worry about learning to sew straight seams in working men?s overalls, jeans, and dress pants.? In the same thought she thinks of her future life in ?the home? where he has promised her rest. ?Her hands will be full. Full of what? Babies. She is not comforted.? Her motivations are completely not proper for this type of step she is taking, marriage. ?She does not even know if she loves him.? She loves things about him like his, ?sobriety, pride, blackness, and his gray car.? Roselily is not marrying the person, but what that person will make her life. Also she is taking advantage of the fact that she has found someone who will take her with her children. ?She loves his understanding of her condition.? She knows that there aren?t many men who would support other men?s children. Although he has accepted this but there are conditions. One is that her and her children accept his religion, and second to have more children.
The images that are in Roselily?s head are of imprisonment and entrapment. ?She thinks of the something as a rat trapped, concerned, scurrying to and fro in her head, peering through the windows of her eyes.? It seems as though she wants to get out of this. She knows it is a very bad mistake that she is making and wants to live her life. ?She wants to live for once. But doesn?t
know quite what that means. Wonders if she has ever done it. If she ever will.? Roselily doesn?t seem to know exactly what she wants form life. All she knows is that she wants to be free of her job and of raising three children alone.
She basically is going into this blindly, not knowing anything about the place she is going to. ?She thinks of Lincoln, the president. That is all she knows about the place. She feels ignorant, wrong, backward.? It is very clear that she is worried and confused, and wishes she can undo what she?s done. However, it is too late, she must deal with her new life and husband, even if she will be miserable.