Analysis Of Alice Walker's The Color Purple

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While Harper Lee’s novel fits nicely within the time it was published in, Alice Walker’s novel does not have as much of a place in the 1980s. The direct setting of The Color Purple is unclear because it does not contain many dates or clear references to real events, although it takes place over decades as Celie and the other characters are noted to have aged. Nevertheless, Alice Walker’s novel also includes issues with race and gender, although it is portrayed in a manner that was unpopular with the readers of the 1980s. Alice Walker focuses more on women’s rights than those of race because she focuses on the hardships of Celie and her sister, Nettie. In doing so, The Color Purple was harshly criticized during the 1980s because of the representation of men in the novel. Celie constantly deals with rape and abuse, but she is only abused by black men. Tony Brown, who is a nationally published columnist and television show host, criticized the novel’s film counterpart as "the most racist depiction of Black men since The Birth of a Nation and the most anti-Black family film of the modern film era." (Bobo 337). Alice Walker collaborated on the film, and to Tony Brown, the film was created at the “expense of Black people and of Black men” (Bobo 337). While the film is not an exact replica of the novel, Mel Watkins, a book editor and writer, also criticizes the choices of Alice Walker and other writers similar to her in his 1986 article “Sex, Racism, and Black Women Writers”.
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