Double Discrimination Exposed in The Color Purple Essay

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African-American people have had to mount over many obstacles to get their standing today.  First was the selling of their people into slavery.  Then, they endured slavery itself, being treated like animals.  After slavery was abolished, colored people still had to deal with racial discrimination, demoralization, subjugation and hatred, especially colored women.  Black women have had to face unbelievable odds at obtaining self-assurance.

 

 

 African-American woman have had to deal with being black and female, a double-edged sword.  In her novel, The Color Purple, author Alice Walker introduces southern black female characters that not only faced slavery, but sexism, racism and
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The novel opens with an opening letter where we discover that Celie, the main character, was savagely raped by her father.  Such a bold beginning lets us know that Celie's life is anything but ordinary.  The sanctity of the family unit, so important to the American way of life, is destroyed.  The shocking details of rape as Celie writes, are sad but a factual everyday occurrence.  Celie understands that as a black woman she is seen as worthless, having a meaningless existence.  There is no other way of life.  It is as if all black women are enslaved to the typical hell of exploitation, bigotry, and abuse.  The female characters are molded from pain and sacrifice.  As the novel progresses, the reader gets to follow Celie as she offered to a widower with four children.  The widower hesitates in getting Cellie, but after some encouragement and a cow, he agrees.  Implication here is that women are nothing but cattle and worthless.  

 

The black male in the novel is depicted as cruel, brutal and evil.  He lives in a world where white man rules.  The pressures of being a man of little worth in such a world seems to be taken out on the black female.  Women are the scapegoats for all their vented frustration.  Harriet Jacobs in Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl represents this fate suffered by black women, when she states:

 

 

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