The narrative point of view in Roselily is third-person.. Especially, Alice Walker focuses on the woman’s thoughts, the center of consciousness. This limited omniscience makes the reader access in-depth thoughts and feelings of Roselily at the wedding ceremony. It is obvious to know about her dreams, her situation and her hopes. Her characterization is shown apparent through the stream of thoughts about the dark of past, the dilemma of present and the ambiguity of future. It also brings a question about personality of other characters and takes an open view for readers to access her situation.
The reason why Walker did not choose the first-person narrator may be that she wants to set an objective voice as well as the restricted perspective. There is no right or wrong for the option – accepting the marriage – of the main character, Roselily. However, the way to see into her mind shapes her feeling and personality clearly. The readers understand both her burden and effort to get out this situation. She had a dream, like other girls, to be the beautiful bride in the wedding full of happiness.
But the real wedding is opposite. “dragging herself across the world” “Like cotton to be weighed” It is not a happy wedding, in her perspective, due to the awful view and meaningless action. She begins to remember the gloomy past that she always wants to evade. She already have four children – and the last child is given to his father who “could not live with Roselily”. The urgent aspiration to escape the tiredness and anxiety leads her action accepting to marry the man who promised to bring her a new life she had prayed for.
But now, in the ceremony, she wonders whether she is right. “She does not even know if she loves him”. The purpose of marriage is to bring a father for her children and released the weight of single-mother responsible. ”She feels ignorant, wrong, backward”. The writer has used the stream-of-consciousness technique to reveal Roselily’s thoughts and feelings on a conscious level. ”But in Chicago. Respect, a chance to build. Her children at last from underneath the detrimental wheel. A chance to be on top.
What a relief, she thinks. What a vision, a view, from up so high”. The intermittent feelings provide as short sentences or just a word, that engrave in our mind the pains in the past and wishes to relieve the wound. Walker creates the story glued to Roselily thoughts intimately. ”Her husband would free her. A romantic hush. Proposal. Promises. A new life!. Respectable, reclaimed, renewed. Free! In robe and veil”. At that moment, the emotions overwhelm, she attempts a new way of life and no one can prevent her decision.
This point of view not only depicted the Roselily’s personality, her life, and how she feels about her past and present but also raise a question about her wedding and the groom who described with her gratefulness and appreciation. She is wrong to marry the man without love but not wrong the acceptance the wedding for a new comfortable life. Her strong emotion expression describes the dilemma either leaving everything in the past but facing new trouble such as religion and roots or still living the way as she had lived.
However, she is not a weak woman, she is a strong one who is willing to face the challenge and change her life. And her husband – who directly affects her feeling – loves her, I believe. At her perspective, he is shown as a sobriety and pride man. He is maybe like a prince in her dreams and really like the hero to help her leave the burden. Because he brings her the hopes for future: free. The one who bear the wound now is warmed by sweet proposal, bright promises and new-life. She is a strong one but in depth of her heart, she knows she needs a shoulder to lean on, to cry and relax.
Her heart is closed but for one day in the future, when her situation is not a burden anymore, she will find the true happiness with the man she has chosen. The flow of thoughts is likely happened during the saying of the preacher. Her feeling is maybe the result of every words said. It seems that all her thoughts about dreams, past, present occur quickly in time of hearing one sentence. The chain of images about the past has emerged very fast like a film happened before death. However, she is still alive. It shows the beginning of brand-new life, the desire to erase the past and make a new Roselily.