The Color Purple By Alice Walker

2341 Words10 Pages
When The Color Purple is viewed through the gender/feminist lens, the traditional ways society understands men and women is dramatically altered. Alice Walker defies gender norms with her emphasis on the fact that gender and sexuality are not always as simple as society typically thought. By creating characters that challenge gender stereotypes and break out of the norms of society, she creates a book that dissolves gender barriers. With her use of strong, unique characters, Alice is able to change the way people viewed women and men. Characters like Shug Avery and Harpo defy the gender roles expected of them, and influence those around them to change their roles in society as well. While there are characters that reflect gender norms,…show more content…
Whether Walker wrote the story to challenge the views of the readers, or they were her own ideas of breaking stereotypes, her narration and characters reflect the redefinition of gender norms in The Color Purple. Shug Avery is a strong, sharp tongued women who refuses to let herself be suppressed or controlled by any man. “What will people say, you running off to Memphis like you don 't have a house to look after? Shug say, Albert. Try to think like you got some sense. Why any woman give a shit what people think is a mystery to me. Well, say Grady, trying to bring light. A woman can 't git a man if peoples talk. Shug look at me and us giggle. All us laugh and laugh.” (208) Boldly spoken, Shug summarizes her philosophy simple and plainly. As an independent woman, she doesn’t care what people think of her or anyone. She does what she wants, does what she pleases, and ultimately defies female stereotypes. “Man corrupt everything. He on your box of grits, in your head, and all over the radio. He try to make you think he everywhere. Soon as you think he everywhere, you think he God. But he ain 't.” (179) During Shug and Celie’s conversation about God, Shug boldly states on her opinion on men and the designated gender of ‘man’ to God. Blatantly stating her disregard for a male God, she opens Celie’s eyes and influences her to see God in a new way and alters her faith basis so it
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