Crossing the River - Section 2 "West" Summary & Analysis

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Section 2 "West" Summary

The second stand-alone vignette in Crossing the River, "West," is the richly symbolic story of Martha, an aging black woman in the South during the years of the California Gold Rush. It begins near its ending with Martha huddled and shivering in a Denver doorway during a blizzard. Martha is conscious but hallucinating, drifting from dream to reality. She envisions herself on a warm beach in California, reunited with her daughter Eliza Mae. As she returns to consciousness, however, she realizes the harshness of her reality and bemoans her loss of faith in God. A mysterious visage, which Martha can barely make out through the snow and her delirium, approaches Martha in her freezing doorway and begins fussing over her, inquiring if she has any family nearby or a place to go. The visage turns out to be a...

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This section contains 1,064 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Crossing the River Study Guide
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