Amalgamation of Erotic with the Spiritual: A Study of the Novel Meridian by Alice Walker
Eros is one of the four ancient Greco-Christian terms which can be depicted into English as love. The other three are Storge, Philia and Agape. Sappho calls eros ‘bittersweet’ as it seemed to her at once an experience of pleasure and pain. In Plato’s Symposium, Eros is the life that tends to come to realize itself that is soul which earnestly covets for harmony. Another ancient Greco-Christian term is Storge, the type of love which is unconditional, acknowledges flaws or faults and ultimately drives one to forgive. The ancient Greek philosopher, the student of Plato, Aristotle defines the concept of Eros as friendship. Augustine, the most prominent holy thinker has named this love ‘agape’ for eternity as the absolute love or caritas, the love graced by its transcendent character. Whereas Black lesbian feminist Audre Lorde spoke strongly for a broad understanding of eros and defined it as creative energy and life force. Lorde’s understanding of the erotic as spiritual shares strong connections with Alice Walker’s conception of womanism, including her focus on immanental divinity in the physical world. The present novel Meridian (1976) by Alice Walker throws light upon the amalgamation of erotic with the spiritual.