Analysis of Revolutionary Petunias by Alice Walker; Written 1973
Revolutionary Petunias is themed on relationship between the quest for revolution in the society and love, depicting how mistrust in relationships and traditionally held opinions can deter this noble course to the point of rejection by the closet people in one’s life. Walker critically conveys the message by advocating for break from conventional ideologies, the “few embattled souls who remain painfully committed to beauty and to love even while facing the firing squad.’ The poet seeks to advance the revolutionary subject by advocating for respectful and equal treatment of all in the society, men, women and children in order to save the ”embattled souls.”
Despite such challenges, bold members of the society, including Walker have decided to go against the grain without fear of being labeled “..outcast./ Qualified to live/ Among your dead”, and married a white man. Hypocrisy is established as the main draw-back to the revolution as depicted by people who “. said come/ Let me exploit you; / Somebody must do it/ And wouldn’t you/ Prefer a brother? ” The poet is not pleased however by such charlatans who eventually gain from the revolution once “..The quietly pacifist peaceful always die to make room for men/Who shout. Who tell lies to children, and crush the corners off of old men’s dreams.”
In my opinion, such a revolutionary approach is necessary today especially with the growing demand for equality and human rights respect. Women, black, colored or white should be free to marry who ever they wish to without being referred to as “nobody’s darling”, despite the shortcomings that might come with it since “love is dangerous but we can walk bareheaded beside the Great River.” To free the society from the bondage of anti- revolution stance that mainly comes due to misinformation, the poet suggests that this assignment can as well be effected through education just like herself and her sister
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