Alice Walker's The Color Purple: Celie's Struggles Expressed in Letters

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Alice Walker's The Color Purple: Celie's Struggles Expressed in Letters

"Dear God,

Gets me out of here. I needs to love and laugh. I needs to be free of this bastard and these white people."

At a very young age, Celie begins writing letters to God. In her letters she explains her fears about her stepfather raping her, her mother and sister being beat, and her fears for her sister, Nettie. This epistolary novel (a novel in which the narrative is carried forward by letters) takes place during the early twentieth century, where slavery still existed in the South, and black people lived discriminating lives. Even though many black Southerners formed tight-knit communities, physical, mental and sexual abuse was still brought on to
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By incorporating the literary techniques of voice through the letters, Walker was able to develop Celie's character, emphasizing her growth from a voiceless girl that wouldn't stand up for herself, to a strong minded women that gained independence, dignity and love.

Tone can serve as a very important device in personalizing a character. At the beginning of the novel, Celie never responded to the abuse brought on to her by her Pa and Mr._____, her husband who she was forced to marry. One passage in which the reader notices such tone is when Celie writes "What good it do? I don't fight, I stay where I'm told. But I'm alive." (22) By Celie writing this, the reader may interpret that she is hoping for affection, but instead is to afraid to stand up for herself.

As the novel progresses, Celie's character seems to change when Shug Avery, Mr._______ mistress, enters into her life. Celie learns from Shug's own self-confidence and religious notions. The reader finally notices self confidence in Celie's character when she writes, "You a lowdown dog, I say. It's time to leave you and enter into the Creation. And your dead body is just the welcome mat I need" (207). This is said to Mr._____ right before telling him that she is living with Shug. This passage has a lot of significance to the reader because this is the first time in the novel where Celie stands up to a man and becomes independent.

"Dear God.
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