In “The Wedding,” by Dorothy West, the major development I saw was in the character of Shelby. From the beginning till the end, the character changes and deals with many changes. Throughout the novel Shelby knows what she wants, knows she never gave a black a chance, and then decides whom she will marry.

At the beginning of the novel, Shelby is well focused and knows what she wants. She doesn’t care of what others think. Shelby stays focused on what going to take place and continues with the wedding. Many of her relative’s tries to talk her out of the marriage between her and the white-man, Meade. Although, she did have a little feeling for Lute. Towards the middle of the novel, Shelby seems to feel a little confused and doesn’t really know what she wants. What people have been telling her seems to be sinking in. She begins to feel a little confused on what she really wants. Especially after the argument between her and her father, Clark. She expected him to support her, yet he also turns his back on her. At this time she feel confused and doesn’t know what to think or what to do. A talk with Liz, Shelby’s sister, convinces her to give a black a chance. Liz explains to Shelby on how she will have to live with her knowing she didn’t give a black a chance. It might come back to haunt her later.

Shelby decides to give the black a chance and decides see Lute. She feels good about seeing Lute, giving her a new sensation, a new feeling. Things seem to be okay and she is almost convinced of not marring Meade. Shelby gives Lute the idea she likes him and want to marry him. Right when Shelby is beginning to feel for Lute, he blows it when he decides to fight with his wife for a divorce. Shelby then is convinced of who she wants to marry.

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Toward the end of the novel, Shelby is convinced and decides whom she really wants to marry. She decides to stick with her original plans and marries Meade. Her family decides to support her and gives her the encouragement to proceed with her feelings.
In conclusion, the character of Shelby jumps from being focused on whom she wants to marry to being confused. She is convinced of giving a black a chance and takes a load off her head. Consequently, everything goes wrong and nothing worked out between her and Lute. After giving a black a chance she is convinced of continuing her marriage ceremony with Meade.

Cite this article as: William Anderson (Schoolworkhelper Editorial Team), "Dorothy West’s The Wedding: Shelby Analysis," in SchoolWorkHelper, 2019,

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Juan Sanchez
Juan Sanchez
7 years ago

Don’t like this book! 🙁