Meridian is a coming of age novel.


The novel has an anonymous narrator who describes the action in a simple, declarative manner.


The protagonist of the novel is Meridian Hill.

Point of View

The narrator of Meridian speaks in the third person, moving around in time and focusing on a variety of characters. The narrator relates the action omnisciently, offering personal glimpses into characters’ private thoughts and presenting interpretations of their motives.


The tone of the novel is detached, offering distant yet impassioned glimpses of characters’ lives, presenting Meridian Hill and her friends with dignity and sympathy.


The novel is described in the past tense.

Setting (Time & Place)

Meridian takes place from the 1950s through 1976 It is set in various locations in Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi; Chicokema, Atlanta’s Saxon College; various small communities; and in New York City.


The Wild Child anticipates the disheveled state in which Truman finds Meridian, living a bare existence bordering on poverty.

Major Conflict

Against the backdrop of the civil rights movement, Meridian struggles to define herself and resolve her ambiguous relationship with her mother.

Rising Action

Meridian searches for self-acceptance and self-knowledge while finding a role for herself in college life and then in the civil rights movement.


Meridian rebuilds her life and restores her faith in social progress through activism and voter registration in small communities in Alabama and Georgia.

Falling Action

Finally in good health, Meridian embraces an unknown future with confidence.