A Comparison of Night Walker and Roselily



Brent Staples\' Night Walker and Alice Walker\'s Roselily both present a glimpse into the world view of African-American culture through human characters set in ironic situations. The tone of Roselily is one of sardonic condemnation, whereas the tone of Night Walker is one of melancholy and anger in the face of alienation. Both deal with victimization, Night Walker\'s being derived from being mistaken for a criminal, and Roselily\'s dealing with the confines of a traditional marriage and the anxieties which result. Walker and Staples\' stories hold an unusual irony as the perceived innocent are victims, and the perceived aggressors are the persecuted.

Walker makes use of many descriptive images from the young woman who begins, "...dragging herself across the world."(P 335) to the "...crush of well-wishing people..." Each paragraph is anchored to the marriage by a preceding verse from a traditional marriage ceremony.

Staples\' descriptive images, though more contemporary in time, rely upon heavy contrast to sharply underscore his points. For instance describing, "...a relatively affluent neighborhood in an otherwise mean, impoverished section of Chicago."



Morgan Glines

English AP

April 12, 1997