Walker, Marshall, and Hurston; Women writing other Women .
Alice Walker, through her essay "In Search of Our Mothers' Gardens", and Paule Marshall, in "Poets In The Kitchen", both write about the African-American women of the past and how these women have had an impact on their writing. Walker and Marshall write about an identity they have found with these women because of their exposure to the African culture. These women were searching for independence and freedom. Walker expresses independence as found in the creative spirit, and Marshall finds it through the spoken word. Walker and Marshall celebrate these women's lives and they see them as inspirations to become black women writers.
Zora Neale Hurston's "Sweat" embodies some aspects that are found in Walker's and Marshall's essays. Delia, the main character, has an identity that is found through her hard work and spirituality. She also finds her freedom and independence in her home.
It is essential to first analyze Walker's and Marshall's essays through each of the themes of identity, independence, and inspiration, respectively. Then these themes will be drawn out of Hurston's work to show the similarity between each of these writers' works.
Walker and Marshall write about an identity that they have found with African-American women of the past. They both refer to great writers such as Zora Neale Hurston or Phillis Wheatley. But more importantly, they connect themselves to their ancestors. The see that their writings can be identified with what the unknown African-American women of the past longed to say but they did not have the freedom to do so. They both admire many literary greats such as Charles Dickens, Virginia Woolf, and Jane Austen, but they appreciate these authors' works more than they can identify with them.
Walker's and Marshall's identification is related to the African-American culture that they have been exposed to throughout their lives.