Sampada Chavan


Many cultures around the world equate being womanly to being motherly. However, all women are not physically or psychologically equipped to handle motherhood. What happens to these women who are burdened with motherhood and are unable to deal with it? Alice Walker’s protagonist in her novel Meridian is an otherwise accomplished woman, but she fumbles with the notion of ideal woman-ness. Cultural conventions also dictate that women are closer to nature and that motherhood is a “natural” and expected outcome in a woman’s life. While Meridian is close to nature, she has no interest in motherhood. This duality in her personality can be explained with the help of ecofeminist criticism. This essay, with the help of ecofeminist theories, analyzes Meridian’s natural affinity to nature, and her “unnatural” inclination of being a non-mother.

Author Biography

Sampada Chavan received her Ph.D. from University of Houston and teaches at Houston Community College. She grew up in India and moved to the US for further studies, and she is fascinated by the similarities between the two cultures—especially post-colonial Indian literature and 20th century African American literature.