Alice Walker Part 3
What does the eye imagery in “Am I Blue” represent

In her essay, “Am I Blue,” Alice Walker argues the importance of finding empathy in other humans and “nonhuman animals”, so we are able to connect with them and build relationships. She uses a horse’s eyes to recognize emotions and feelings and by looking through the horse’s eyes, she can connect to their experiences. The horse, blue faced mistreatment. The owners would, “not be seen again for a month or more,” and isolate the horse. Alice soon connects with the horse be, “feeding him apples,” and uses the eyes of the horse to empathize with it. Eyes are filled with the stories of our past that make us who we are. In his eyes when he was sad, she could see a look, “so full of grief, a look so human.” By looking in the horse’s eyes, she could form a bridge or a language with the horse. We as humans sever connections with other humans and animals. In the same way that we don’t acknowledge that animals have feelings, we have also done that to people in history. When white children were raised by slaves, they would first be “all accepting,” and love the African-American caretaker. However, these white children learned to love until they were taught to hate and they would, “forget’ the deep levels of communication,” and love with the slave. We are taught to wash out emotions and disregard others struggles.We are only able to empathize if we can picture experiences as our own, and she uses the eyes to do so.

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CC BY-SA 4.0 Alice Walker Osborn 3 by Ava is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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