The Color Purple by Alice Walker is a story written in 1982 that is about the life struggles of a young African American woman named Celie. The novel takes the reader through several main topics including the poor treatment of African American women, domestic abuse, family relationships, and also religion. The story takes place mostly in rural Georgia in the early 1900’s and demonstrates the difficult life of sharecropper families. Specifically how life was endured from the perspective of an African American woman. The Color Purple is written in the form of letters that Celie narrates explaining the events that took place at certain points in her life. Celie endures physical and emotional abuse by some of the people around her including
Alice Walker’s realistic novel, The Color Purple revolves around many concerns that both African American men and women faced in an era, where numerous concerns of discrimination were raised. Religious and gender issues are confronted by the main characters which drive the plot and paint a clear image of what life may possibly have been like inside an African American home. Difficulties were faced by each and every character specifically Celie and Nettie who suffered heavy discrimination throughout the novel at the hands of males. These traumatising circumstances develop the characters not only emotionally but spiritually. Walker creates a wonderfully literal novel which passionately addresses issues that were evident during the age of inequality. Due to the unique writing style, captivating female character developments and spiritual nature the author has successfully created an honest and authentic novel representing life as an African American woman.
The novel that I read for my ISU is, The Color Purple. This book is a touching novel told through the eyes of Celie, with her diary entries and letters to and from her sister Nettie. Celie lives in a world of racism, sexism and abuse in deep southern America (though the exact time is unknown, the books spans roughly 1910 - 50's). Like many African American women of her time, Celie is poor and uneducated. After being raped, abused and impregnated by the man who is believed to be her father (whose identity is never revealed and is simply known to Celie as Mr _____) at the tender age of 14, Celie is forced into marriage. Her children were taken away to 'be with god'. Her sister, Nettie, wanting to escape from such pain and torment runs away
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,
In the early 1900’s society 's attitude toward women wasn 't always a positive one. Women often faced sexism, discrimination, racism, and abuse which is demonstrated throughout the book the The Color Purple by Alice Walker. When these prevailing attitudes came face to face with the diverse personalities of the women in this book they not only affected each other but their society as a whole. These attitudes included but were not limited to disrespect, jealousy, selfishness,infidelity, and abuse. These women were forced to survive their own struggles in their own way and whether they chose to do it alone or together they did survive. Although it may have been weakened at times these women had unbreakable spirits that by the end were
The award-winning novel, “The Color Purple” by Alice Walker, is a story about a woman going through cruel things such as: incest, rape, and physical abuse. This greatly written novel comes from a very active feminist author who used many of her own experiences, as well as things that were happening during that era, in her writing. “The Color Purple” takes place in the early 1900's, and symbolizes the economic, emotional, and social deprivation that African American women faced in Southern states of America. The main character of the story is Celie, a fourteen-year old that starts writing letters to God for thirty years, and then to her sister, Nette, who ran away to Africa to save herself from the troubles Celie went through. Celie starts off as a pushover and very dependent girl that would eventually grow and develop into an independent flourishing woman that opens a business making pants for all genders. This novel shows the hardship of a girl becoming a woman over the course of her life and eventually standing up for herself and being confident. Many of the experiences and characters of “The Color Purple” are based on history of that time and a bit of the author’s personal experiences. Her use of epistolary allows the reader to learn everything in the point of view of Celie. Alice Walker's influences for writing this novel range from her childhood experiences to the white society in her hometown of Eatonville, Georgia. Even during these times, it still shows that women
The Color Purple by Alice Walker sheds light on the hardships of Celie’s life as an African American woman in the early nineteenth century through letters and prayers written by Celie herself. Soon after birth Celie’s mother dies, and only Celie, her father, and her sister Nettie remain. As a fourteen year old girl, Celie is abused mentally and physically by her father in forms such as rape and beatings. Celie gets impregnated by her father, and when she gives birth to the child, her father kills the child in the woods. Mr._______ (Albert) comes along and wants to marry Nettie, but her father refuses to allow Nettie to marry. However, her father offers Celie, whom he calls the “ugly” one, up for marriage to Mr._______. Celie’s life changes drastically when Mr._______ brings his mistress, Shug Avery, home for Celie to nurse back to health. Celie immediately falls for Shug, and Shug shows Celie what real love looks like when she shows responding emotions to Celie. Being with Shug releases a sense of confidence that Celie has never experienced. Shug helps Celie figure out what happened to her sister, Nettie. Together, they discover that Mr. _______ has been hiding letters from Nettie to Celie for years. From the letters, Celie learns that Mr._______ is not actually her biological father. The letters also reveal that Nettie is living in Africa as a missionary. The reverend she married also adopted Celie’s two children she thought Mr._______ had murdered. Celie learns that
The Color Purple, was released in 1985 and was set in the early until middle of the 1900s, it was one of the first featured movies to openly discuss the topic of domestic violence as a main part of the film. This has been very significant because it sets a standard of normalizing domestic violence in the characters lives, which Walker was able to show and develop through Celie and how she mistreatment in the hands of her stepfather and husband. In addition, a powerful message about how people who have been oppressed can unite together to overcome their oppressors. By the character finding out who she is and taking value in what she can become, this movie shows a feminist power. While Celie was searching for truth, she comes to realize that the patriarchal culture she went through in the South is abusive to all women. She learns that women can be equal to men in in matters of love and finance, power, and in knowledge, when she met Shug and they escape from Albert. Near the end of the movie, when Celie returns to Georgia, she isn’t submissive and weak anymore; On the contrary, she has become a competent, self-confident woman who knows she can be satisfied without depending on anybody else but herself.
Events in history have influenced writers’ style, and the importance in their stories. Alice Walker wrote a novel which was very much subjective by the time period of the 1940’s. There was a great deal of bigotry and tyranny during that time, particularly for Women of color. Women were mentally and physically abused and belittled by man purely because of their race and femininity. Women were considered as ignorant individuals that simply knew how to handle housework and care for the children.
The women of the late sixties, although some are older than others, in Alice Walker’s fiction that exhibit the qualities of the developing, emergent model are greatly influenced through the era of the Civil Rights Movement. Motherhood is a major theme in modern women’s literature, which examines as a sacred, powerful, and spiritual component of the woman’s life. Alice Walker does not choose Southern black women to be her major protagonists only because she is one, but because she had discovered in the tradition and history they collectively experience an understanding of oppression that has been drawn from them a willingness to reject the principle and to hold what is difficult. Walker’s most developed character, Meridian, is a person
In Alice walker’s “The Color Purple” she uses foil characters such as Celie and Shug to express the polar opposites that are inevitably found when abuse occurs. Celie represents submission and low self value. Shug on the other hand represents Independence and intolerance. Both characteristics coincide bringing forth friendship and change.
In the monograph, Ain’t I A Woman: Black Women and Feminism, the author describes the complexity of black womanhood from a black women’s perspectives. This book shows the impact of sexism on the lives of black women, discussing the persistent racism of the women’s movement. Even with the many present issues, “scholars in this field are in a unique position because of their ability to explore the intersection of race, sex, and class as experienced by black women in ways that are impossible for other segments of the population” (Sheftall
The world may seem like a sophisticated place, but there are still many areas to improve on, like giving women the right to equality. However, in 1960, the first ever female president, Sirivamo is elected in Sri Lanka. After living a life of domestic abuse in a culture where women are looked down upon, she takes the risk to prove that women are capable of reaching a higher and dominant role in society. Even though many years have passed since then, the culture of male dominancy still exist today. In countries like Saudi Arabia in the Middle East, women can not drive or step out of the house without a man by their side. In the novel The Color Purple, Celie is living in a male dominant society that is very oppressive to women. As a result, she is both emotionally and physically broken, but in the end she gains enough confidence to realize her own inner beauty and strength. In the novel The Color Purple Alice Walker proves that women are fully capable of overcoming oppression in order to achieve gender equality. Therefore, women around the world need to stand up for themselves and persevere to eventually overcome male dominancy. Throughout the story, Celie learns to assert female empowerment by adapting to the real world which has the good and the bad, learning from some who grow up in gender respected families and finally, and taking life changing advice from the people she trusts.
The Color Purple by Alice Walker starts off with a rather graphic view of a young black woman denominated as Celie. Celie has to learn how to survive her abusive past. She also has to figure out a way she can release her past in search of the true meaning of love. Alice walker wrote this book as an epistolary novel to further emphasize Celie`s life events. From the beginning of the novel Alice Walker swiftly establishes an intimate contact with the reader. The book begins with a eloquent and lucid record of the physical abuse Celie`s father subjected her to. Even in Celie`s dark moments she is still able to find hope.
Deborah Gray White’s book, Ar’n’t I a Woman? Female Slaves in the Plantation South, emphasizes the importance of the need for writing about the history of slave women. White lists many examples of theories of slavery that do not include women specifically or generalizes both genders. Due to the lack of source material on slave women in particular, historians “do black women a disservice when we rob them of a history that placed them at the side of their men in their race’s struggle for freedom” (White, 22). To right this mistake, White uses slave narrative, memoirs written after the civil war, the Works Projects Administration’s interviews with female ex-slaves, and historical/anthropological research to depict the social history of slave women in the antebellum South (White 24). The purpose of White’s book is to solely “enrich our knowledge of antebellum black culture and to serve as a chapter in the yet unwritten history of the American black woman” (White, 25).