The novel The Color Purple by Alice Walker, won the American Book Award in fiction in 1983 (Slomski). Celie was raped and impregnated by the man she considered to be her father twice at the age of fourteen, and then later married off to a poor black farmer. The man who Celie is sold to treats her as if she is a servant, not as his wife. Mr.___ believes that women are supposed to serve men, while they enjoy life. Mr.__’s other beliefs about women are that they should obey their husbands, work, and not be seen or heard (Averbach). Women in this time period were seen as children. They did not deserve to be respected and needed to be controlled by a man. Celie endures over thirty years of physical and mental abuse by her husband. Celie
Celie’s relationship with her sister Nettie, one of protection and unconditional love, evolves in a way that allows Celie to see her own worth and gain her independence, even though they are not physically able to be together. Throughout the novel, Nettie provides Celie with hope. Celie obviously thinks the world of her younger sister, as she is smart, beautiful, and sweet. Celie and Nettie both understand that education is the only way they can better their situation, but as Celie is mentally behind and slower, she puts her faith into Nettie. As life’s circumstances become worse, Celie always tries to protect Nettie. This is evident in one instance where, still as children, Celie dresses up in order to entice her Pa solely so that he will
Alice Walker’s masterpiece, The Color Purple, uses ordinary things such as clothes, colors, jobs, and money as strong symbolism. In this book, pants symbolize independence. Pants change the way society views and treats a person. They also convey that a person is strong, confident, free, and equal to others. Alice Walker shows the reader how wearing pants can have a big effect on a person’s life, especially if that person is a woman in the early twentieth century.
Unlike Celie, Nettie is educated and independent of all men. In many ways, Nettie is the woman she is as a result of Celie’s sacrifices. Although Celie had to leave school after she became pregnant by Pa, Celie steers Pa away from Nettie so that Nettie can have a better life and continue her education. Celie also marries Mr.__ instead of Nettie, thus keeping Nettie from being a married woman, tied down to her husband’s children and constantly giving
Alice Walker’s The Color Purple is an eye-opening novel that uncovers how women were treated and what they went through. In this novel Celie, a young black, uneducated girl living in the south, is abused her whole life by her stepdad who ends up selling her to another man. That man rapes her and abuses her their whole life together. His son then marries a girl named Sofia, who he abuses also. After the abuse Sofia leaves Harpo and takes their children. A while after Sofia comes back in town she ends up getting back with Harpo. By then Celie and Mr. stop arguing and his abuse towards her stop, so she forgives him. In other words, abuse is capable of manipulating a person’s mind to the point where they will forgive.
Have many people have ever been in a situation where they are being hurt? In The Color Purple by Alice Walker, there is a girl named Celie. Celie gets sexually assaulted by a white male truck driver and his name is never revealed. The man impregnates Celie and eventually takes away her kids and sells them. Alice Walker uses events that take place that transforms the way Celie is in the beginning and end of the book in a positive way.
If any woman had to answer if she ever had trouble accepting herself, the response would be yes. According to Susan David, “All healthy human beings have an inner stream of thoughts and feelings that include criticism, doubt, and fear” (125-128). Depending on the person Alice Walker has as the recipients of Celie’s and Nettie’s letters, the text alters. The Color Purple is about a girl named Celie, who grows up in the south during the early 1920’s, surrounded by racism, sexism, and abuse from her father and husband. Alice Walker wrote The Color Purple in epistolary style and it traces Celie’s journey of finding her identity and path of finally accepting herself. On her journey she encounters a couple of women including one named Shug
This novel was so powerful and beyond words. Alice Walker is an amazing writer, and everything about this book was quite phenomenal. It was incredibly sad, and hard to read at some points, but it was absolutely worth the read. I love the fact that the whole novel was a set of letters about a girl’s life. It's an unusual approach but it worked so well. Shug was so empowering to me, and I loved what she stood for, no matter how many people talked bad. She defied common teachings about God and what to believe in. She helped Celie love herself and her life. This book has changed my outlook on dealing with problems, pain, and suffering. It definitely made me appreciate my life and every little flaw. I learned to be happy
The most important aspect of The Color Purple is the growth and maturity of each individual. There is a huge transition of many of the characters from the beginning to the end of the novel. This evolution of the characters is a recurring theme that runs throughout the novel and can be tracked by Celie’s letters. The women struggle for freedom in a society where they are inferior to men. Towards the end of the novel one can sense the slow evolution towards the increasing empowerment of women.
Celie is mostly uneducated until her sister helps her learn how to read and write so she can write her letters when she is absent as she suspects she will need to send her away from Albert. This displays Celie’s will to improve herself even through the harsh times she goes through and is able to keep her composure. Celie protects her sister Nettie from the fate she had and allows for Nettie to have a better life compared to hers. Celie in the novel evolves into a character that is strong, caring, and the ability to
Alice Walker's rough life growing up, gives us a clear image of how her background impacted the delicate themes she writes about in her novels. For example, at a young age, Walker was insecure about her appearance, which led her to a new mental state of mind. In an interview of Alice by O'Brien, she describes, "I daydreamed of falling swords, putting guns to my heart or head, and of slashing my wrists." (O'Brien). Alice Walker's insecurities led her to be depressed, which then introduced her passion for writing. Alice Walker's history of depression may pinpoint the reason she started writing but moreover, what she started writing. Alice Walker writes about sensitive topics including racism, sexism religious views, and homosexuality. Many
Other women she meets tell her to stand up and fight for herself, but Celie thinks it is better to survive and not risk disastrous consequences. That being said, her and Janie both experience the confinement and servitude like conditions their husbands put them through. Physical abuse is not something Mr. ______ , Celie’s husband, shy’s away from. To him, Celie is not valuable and he beats her simply because she is not Shug Avery. Of the abuse she reports on this, “Harpo ast his daddy why he beat me. Mr. ______ say, cause she my wife. Plus, she stubborn. All women good for-- he don’t finish” (Walker 22). Alice Walker left that phrase empty because she knew the reader would only need those few words to take away from it the point. It is clear that Albert thinks Celie’s life is worthless and because of this, the sins he commits against her do not matter. It is understandable that for most of the novel Celie thinks it is not wise to stand up for herself as she has witnessed a fraction of the repercussions it may cause. In this moment she grasps some courage and shouts, “I curse you, I say. What that mean? He say. I say, Until you do right by me, everything you touch will crumble. He laugh. Who you think you is? He say. You can’t curse nobody. Look at you. You black, you pore, you ugly, you a woman. Goddam, he say, you nothing at all”(206). At this moment Mr._____ is threatened by Celie, she shows strength and it surprises him. His only defense is to insult her and yet he does so with some characteristics he too possesses. Until this moment Mr._____ (Albert), looks through Celie and treats her as an object that he can abuse and manipulated as his disposal. Janie and Celie’s husbands both view them in a similar manner. Although their personalities and internal mindsets differ, both of these women inch towards refuge towards the end of each
The Color Purple by Alice Walker is the story of a poor black woman living in the south between World War 1 and World War 2. This was at a time when, although slavery had ended,many women were still virtually in bondage, and had to put up with many conditions that was reminiscent of the days of slavery. The problem was that they had to endure being treated like an inferior being by their own families sometimes, as well as from the white people that lived there. It was a life that was filled with misery for many black women, and they felt helpless to do anything about their situations.
Mr.__ never tries to protect Celie. He nearly tries to cause her pain, especially when he hides the many letters addressed to Celie. These letters were written from Celie’s beloved sister, Nettie. Celie had no contact with her sister and simply believed her sister had died. The revelation of the hidden letters is an emotional moment that unlocks many hard feelings that cause Celie to be furious and defensive towards Mr.__. In Elizabeth’s relationship with Proctor, she proves to be an adamant wife who holds an abiding grudge against her
In Alice Walker's The Color Purple, she explores the thin grey line that stands between survival and living. Through her protagonist, Celie, she examines the dramatic shifts of empowerment; focusing on the young black girl in the 1850’s.