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The Color Purple

Alice walker.

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Themes are the fundamental and often universal ideas explored in a literary work.

The Power of Narrative and Voice

Walker emphasizes throughout the novel that the ability to express one’s thoughts and feelings is crucial to developing a sense of self. Initially, Celie is completely unable to resist those who abuse her. Remembering Alphonso’s warning that she “better not never tell nobody but God” about his abuse of her, Celie feels that the only way to persevere is to remain silent and invisible. Celie is essentially an object, an entirely passive party who has no power to assert herself through action or words. Her letters to God, in which she begins to pour out her story, become her only outlet. However, because she is so unaccustomed to articulating her experience, her narrative is initially muddled despite her best efforts at transparency.

In Shug and Sofia, Celie finds sympathetic ears and learns lessons that enable her to find her voice. In renaming Celie a “virgin,” Shug shows Celie that she can create her own narrative, a new interpretation of herself and her history that counters the interpretations forced upon her. Gradually Celie begins to flesh out more of her story by telling it to Shug. However, it is not until Celie and Shug discover Nettie’s letters that Celie finally has enough knowledge of herself to form her own powerful narrative. Celie’s forceful assertion of this newfound power, her cursing of Mr. ______ for his years of abuse, is the novel’s climax. Celie’s story dumbfounds and eventually humbles Mr. ______, causing him to reassess and change his own life.

Read more about the power of language as a theme in the context of Sandra Cisneros’s The House on Mango Street .

Though Walker clearly wishes to emphasize the power of narrative and speech to assert selfhood and resist oppression, the novel acknowledges that such resistance can be risky. Sofia’s forceful outburst in response to Miss Millie’s invitation to be her maid costs her twelve years of her life. Sofia regains her freedom eventually, so she is not totally defeated, but she pays a high price for her words.

The Power of Strong Female Relationships

Throughout The Color Purple, Walker portrays female friendships as a means for women to summon the courage to tell stories. In turn, these stories allow women to resist oppression and dominance. Relationships among women form a refuge, providing reciprocal love in a world filled with male violence.

Female ties take many forms: some are motherly or sisterly, some are in the form of mentor and pupil, some are sexual, and some are simply friendships. Sofia claims that her ability to fight comes from her strong relationships with her sisters. Nettie’s relationship with Celie anchors her through years of living in the unfamiliar culture of Africa. Samuel notes that the strong relationships among Olinka women are the only thing that makes polygamy bearable for them. Most important, Celie’s ties to Shug bring about Celie’s gradual redemption and her attainment of a sense of self.

The Cyclical Nature of Racism and Sexism

Almost none of the abusers in Walker’s novel are stereotypical, one-dimensional monsters whom we can dismiss as purely evil. Those who perpetuate violence are themselves victims, often of sexism, racism, or paternalism. Harpo, for example, beats Sofia only after his father implies that Sofia’s resistance makes Harpo less of a man. Mr. ______ is violent and mistreats his family much like his own tyrantlike father treated him. Celie advises Harpo to beat Sofia because she is jealous of Sofia’s strength and assertiveness.

The characters are largely aware of the cyclical nature of harmful behavior. For instance, Sofia tells Eleanor Jane that societal influence makes it almost inevitable that her baby boy will grow up to be a racist. Only by forcefully talking back to the men who abuse them and showing them a new way of doing things do the women of the novel break these cycles of sexism and violence, causing the men who abused them to stop and reexamine their ways.

Read more about hatred as a cyclical phenomenon in Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice .

The Disruption of Traditional Gender Roles

Many characters in the novel break the boundaries of traditional male or female gender roles. Sofia’s strength and sass, Shug’s sexual assertiveness, and Harpo’s insecurity are major examples of such disparity between a character’s gender and the traits he or she displays. This blurring of gender traits and roles sometimes involves sexual ambiguity, as we see in the sexual relationship that develops between Celie and Shug.

Disruption of gender roles sometimes causes problems. Harpo’s insecurity about his masculinity leads to marital problems and his attempts to beat Sofia. Likewise, Shug’s confident sexuality and resistance to male domination cause her to be labeled a tramp. Throughout the novel, Walker wishes to emphasize that gender and sexuality are not as simple as we may believe. Her novel subverts and defies the traditional ways in which we understand women to be women and men to be men.

Read more about gender ambiguity as a theme in William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night .

The Color Purple (SparkNotes Literature Guide Series)

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Alice Walker’s “The Color Purple”: The Analysis Essay

Introduction, summary of the book, main characters, main themes, reference list.

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The Color Purple by Alice Walker is an epistolary novel about African-American women in the southern United States in the 1930s. It addresses some crucial issues, such as segregation and sexism. This work was adapted into a film by Steven Spielberg in 1985 (Bay et al. , 2015, p.169). More than that, The Color Purple won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the National Book Award for Fiction in 1983. The novel is written as a series of letters, that are not dated, and has a fascinating and thought-provoking plot. Its name comes from a character’s words, “I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don’t notice it” (Walker, 1982, p. 196). Walker writes in an uneducated language and southern style to create the atmosphere of an impoverished area and develop complex relationships between the main characters and the themes mentioned above.

The protagonist of the novel is Celie, a fourteen-year-old abused black girl who lives in Georgia and addresses her letters to God. Her father, Alfonso, repeatedly rapes his daughter and forbids her to tell anybody about what happened, except for God. Then, Alfonso marries Celie off to Mister Albert after her mother’s death. However, married life is also complicated and painful for the girl, as she has to bring up Albert’s children, do all of the housework, and suffer misery and hardship from him. After Celie’s marriage, her younger sister, Nettie, gets the opportunity to leave her father’s household and move to Mr. Albert’s house. However, Celie’s husband kicks Nettie out after a while as she refuses to satisfy his sexual demands. Nettie promises to write to her older sister, but after she leaves, Celie does not receive any letters from her. The protagonist’s life changes only when Albert’s deathly ill mistress Shug appears in his home so that Celie will take care of her. Soon after Shug’s arrival, they fall in love with each other. For the first time, Celie can enjoy emotions, sex, and friendship. Celie and Shug manage to find out why there was no news from Nettie for several decades. Mr. Albert appears to hide all of Nettie’s letters in the locked trunk. When the main character reads her sister’s letters, she opens up a new world and realizes all the abuses that she has suffered from her husband. That is why she decides to leave him and start a new life with Shug in Memphis. Furthermore, Celie learns that Alfonso is not her biological father and that her younger sister lives with the Reverend Samuel and his family in Africa. The girl also finds out that now she owns a house where Alfonso lived till his death. In the end, Celie reunites with her sister, who returns from Africa with her husband Samuel and Celie’s children and maintains a close relationship with Shug. Besides, she keeps in touch with Mr. Albert as he changed a lot. Now Nettie and Celie are inseparable and happy so much that Celie writes that she has never felt so young before, though she is an old woman.

Celie is the protagonist of the book, who the author portrays as a victim through most of the novel. Her father and her husband rape her, she is deprived of any freedom and human rights, and she cannot take care of her children. The only person Celie loves – her younger sister Nettie – is also taken away from her. When she meets her husband’s mistress Shug Avery, a tipping point is reached. Shug encourages Celie to rebel against Mr. Albert and leave him. Celie becomes more self-confident and realizes all the extent of hardships she has suffered. More than that, thanks to Shug, she learns to love, feel emotions, and enjoy her life.

Nettie is Celie’s younger sister, who Mr. Albert is firstly interested in, but then, he agrees to marry Celie. Nettie is an educated and intelligent girl who loves her older sister very much. Nettie escapes from her father’s household to live with Celie. However, later, she has to leave because Mister tries to assault her. Nettie goes to Africa with the Reverend Samuel and his family as a maid. Throughout her travels, she writes regularly to Celie, but her older sister does not receive these letters because of her husband. Nettie returns to America with Samuel and two Celie’s children thirty years later.

Mr. Albert, Celie’s husband, is a character, who also experiences changes in his personality aside from Celie. In the beginning, he considers his young wife only a servant and “exercises socially superior power and gets benefit from the unpaid labor provided by Celie” (Abbasi and Hayat, 2017, p.184).Mr. Albert loves Shug, but he cannot marry her because of the public’s opinion. Besides, Mr. Albert hides Nettie’s letters from Celie and prevents their communication. In the end, he reconsiders his life and views and tries to forge relationships with Celie and other people.

Shug Avery is a famous blues singer and strong woman, who becomes a friend and, eventually, a lover to Celie. She teaches Celie to struggle and be independent and confident. Shug’s biggest problem is that she cannot stay with one person and does not have stable romantic relationships. Though sometimes Shug is also mean and selfish, she inspires people around her, brings entertainment, and becomes the protagonist’s loved one.

Violence, racism, sexism, and femininity are among the central themes of the novel (Lewis, 2017). In The Color Purple, readers can see how differently Afro-American female characters react to hardships and maltreatment. Celie is submissive; she suffers violence from her father and husband repeatedly and shuts down emotionally, while other female characters try to protest against abuse. Alice Walker also emphasizes the role of female relationships and their opportunities to fight for rights and challenge male oppression and dominance.

The novel The Color Purple raises crucial and global issues, such as women’s role and their discrimination by men in the twentieth century. Alice Walker illustrates the harassment a black woman has to go through, but she also demonstrates how a woman can struggle for self-confidence and respectful treatment. The Color Purple is a story about female strength, resistance, and fight, all fueled by love.

The Color Purple is an impressive piece of American feminist literature. Walker tells the readers about the lives of impoverished and humiliated women and considers complex social relationships. She uses different means to depict the atmosphere and the environment of the 1930s, such as the black folk language, and the first-person narrative. Despite being widely criticized for the use of language, The Color Purple has its actual historical background and continues to occupy readers’ minds nowadays.

Abbasi, M. and Hayat, M. (2017) ‘Marxist feminist critique: the socioeconomic position of Afro-American women in Alice Walker’s The Color Purple ’, Journal of Social Sciences , 8(2), pp. 180-200. Bay, M. et al. (2015) Toward an intellectual history of black women. North Carolina: UNC Press Books. Lewis, J. (2017) ‘Gender, race, and violence: a critical examination of trauma in The Color Purple ’, Sacred Heart University Scholar, 1(1), pp. 24-38. Walker, A. (1982) The color purple . San Diego: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.

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Essay Service Examples Literature The Color Purple

Empowerment In Alice Walker’s The Colour Purple

Alice Walker once said, “the most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any”. The main character in The Colour Purple is made to believe by men that she has no power, so she feels as if she has none. She gives up her power because she believes she has none, but the women around her help her to reclaim that power. Alice Walker’s The Colour Purple implies that females empower each other when they are made small by others. To be made small is to be made to feel “humiliated or inferior”. The Colour Purple implies that when women are oppressed, other oppressed women will stand up for them. It also implies that when men degrade women, the women that surround them show them their worth. In addition to this, the novel displays how once fellow women empower women, they believe they have power themselves.

Representation. One word that sums up what feminism is all about. It is about how females are represented in novels. On the other hand, it discusses their misrepresentation and underrepresentation. Are their roles determined by the male characters in the novel? Do they have a voice, or do they only have a voice when it relates to male characters? The main focus of feminism is to give women the voice they are denied in society. Females should be represented equally to males in texts, and not only in relation to them. Females should be properly represented; the people who represent them best are individuals of the same gender. Female authorship helps represent women properly, rather than misrepresenting them. Power relationships are very essential to feminism and are greatly represented in Alice Walker’s The Colour Purple. Alice demonstrates how relationships can hurt women when the power is not equal and the relationships are male-dominated. In the novel, Celie, an oppressed woman, experiences various power relationships with men. The first is her father, who feels as though he has so much power that he can bring her down and make her feel like she is insignificant. It is instilled by the voices around her that she is nothing and will never be worth anything. This inequality continues into her second relationship with her husband. She is treated just as dreadfully as she was in her former male relationship. This all changes when another woman shows her the worth she has inside, sharing the power with her instead of stealing it from her. Once she regains her power it enables her to stand up for herself and remedy the injustices she has endured in the past.

The Colour Purple demonstrates how when women are oppressed, other oppressed women will stand up for them. Celie is the main character, a young woman whose mother has died. Due to the death of her mother, she is left with the responsibility of caring for her younger siblings. Her father takes advantage of her and rapes her during and after her mother’s passing. In addition, Celie’s only remaining parent figure physically abuses her. He remarries after her mother’s death, and her younger sister, Nettie, gets involved with a man that has also lost his wife. There is a lot of controversy surrounding this because the man has children already and Nettie is young, but the man, Albert, who Celie calls Mr.____, was also involved with Shug Avery, a very eccentric woman. Shug is a singer who tours around and does not stay in one place for a long time, she is very much judged by others. When Celie looks further into this she gets hold of a picture of Shug Avery and falls in love with the idea of her. Their father will not let Nettie marry Albert, and offers up Celie instead. Her father says to him “[Celie is] ugly… [and he has] to get rid of her” (Walker 8). Celie is made to feel worthless by her father and is married off, along with a cow, without her consent so he can get rid of her. When she goes to her new husband’s house, he mistreats and abuses her just like all the other men in her life have. Her sister comes soon after to her new house. She has run away from home because of their new stepmother. Celie’s new husband is very fond of Nettie and is always complimenting her because he would rather be with her than Celie. Nettie “tell[s her], Your skin. Your hair, Your [teeth]. He tr[ies] to give her a compliment, she pass[es] it on to [Celie]. After a while [Celie starts] to [feel] pretty cute” (Walker 17). Every time Celie’s husband compliments Nettie, she passes on the compliment to Celie. Her sister knows she has been oppressed and made small by her husband and father, but there is an immense “strength of the relationship between women: their friendships, love, their shared oppression” (Smith 69). Nettie has also been oppressed by her and Celie’s father, she feels Celie’s pain. So, she makes her feel beautiful and loved by passing on the compliments she is getting. She empowers Celie by complimenting her and making her feel more confident after her father and husband belittle and diminish her. Overall, it is shown that women who are maltreated will bring up other women who experience the same conflicts.

power in the color purple essay

Additionally, when men degrade women the women that surround them show them their worth. Celie is abused at Albert’s house and her sister is sent away because she won’t accept Celie’s husband’s advances and he does not like that. Shug Avery comes to town to perform and Albert leaves Celie all alone with his children for days on end while he sleeps with Shug. One of Albert’s children, Harpo, marries and has children with a strong independent woman, Sofia. Not too long after this, an ailing Shug Avery arrives at Celie’s house. At first, Shug doesn’t like Celie because she is with Shug’s love interest, but when Celie takes care of her she warms up to her. The couple tends to Shug until she is back in good health. Just after Shug is better, she performs at Harpo’s juke joint, which he built after his wife left him. She left because Harpo tried to beat her so that she would submit to him. Albert doesn’t want Celie to go watch Shug, but Shug makes him let Celie come to her show. After this encounter Albert says under his breath “my wife can’t do this. My wife can’t do that. No wife of mines” (Walker 72). Albert devalues Celie, saying she can’t do what she wants and that she has to listen to what he will let her do, not what she wants to do. He tells her she can’t make her own choices and she has to listen to him, degrading and discrediting her. Shug will not have it and makes Albert let Celie come see her because she has something special in store for her. During Shug’s performance, Celie perks up because she hears her name, ‘[Shug] say this song [she is about] to sing is [called] Miss Celie’s song… [this is the] first time somebody made something and name[d] it after[Celie]” (Walker 73). She wrote a song for Celie; this song makes Celie feel empowered. Shug “dedicates her new song to her, show[ing] her that she is important” (Averbach 61). After Albert makes Celie feel degraded and worthless, Shug dedicates a song to her which makes her feel important and shows Celie her own worth. She has been made small by her husband, so Shug dedicates her new song to her making her feel important and empowered. Ultimately, it is implied that men can degrade women, and when other women notice it, they may help out and raise these women up.

Furthermore, The Colour Purple implies that once women are empowered by other women, they believe they have power themselves. The woman who has shown Celie she is significant already, Shug, discovers a large number of letters from Celie’s sister Nettie, who Celie thought was dead since she promised she would write to her but she never received any letters from her. This was because Celie’s husband hid all the letters from her. Celie finds out that her sister is living in Africa as a missionary with a priest named Samuel and his wife, Corrine. These are the people who adopted the two children that Celie had from her father forcibly violating her. After finding all this out she stops believing in God, but Shug convinces her to believe again. Shug explains to Celie what she believes, that “God is inside you and inside everybody else… [she] believe[s] God is everything… and when you can feel that, and be happy to feel that, you’ve found it” (Walker 195). Believing in God again makes Celie feel empowered because when Shug tells her God is in everything it seems like Celie believes God is in Shug and Nettie. These are the people who have empowered her and made her feel strong, so she feels even more empowered knowing that it could be God coming to help her through these women. She doesn’t believe God is a man anymore; she believes he is everything and nothing. She feels as if “[her]eyes [are now open]… [and Albert’s] evil sort of shrink[s]” (Walker 197). She can now see God in things around her, his goodness is shrinking the evil in her surroundings. After coming to this conclusion, she feels strongly about Shug and chooses to go and live with her. When she goes to tell her husband this he gets upset and starts to yell at her about what people will think. She will not have it and tells him off, vocalizing her new confidence and telling him “why any woman give[s] a s**t what people think is a mystery to me” (Walker 200). Now that Shug has empowered her she feels she has the power to finally speak up for herself. When she does this it shows that she believes she has power. She finally has the power to stand up for herself because “[she] is discovering something seen in the groups women formed around her” (Averbach 61). She sees power in the women around her, in Shug, Sophia, Nettie, and Harpo’s new wife, Mary Agnes. These women encourage her and let her know that she has power too. Celie no longer cares what others think of her and feels empowered enough because of the women around her, to stand up for herself when others try to put her down.

Overall, The Colour Purple demonstrates how when women are oppressed, other women that have been mistreated will stand up for them. The novel also implies that when women are degraded by men, the women surrounding them show them their worth. It is also inferred that once women are empowered by other women, they believe they have power themselves. Alice Walker’s The Colour Purple implies that females empower each other when they are made small by others. The unequal power relationships between men and women in the novel form Celie into a woman who listens to the voices around her and diminishes herself because of other’s opinions. After other women enter her life and show Celie her true worth, she becomes empowered by it and finally stands up for herself. Celie grows to have power.

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The Color Purple

By alice walker, the color purple essay questions.

Why was this novel titled The Color Purple ?

Think about when purple is mentioned as a color and as an attribute of something worth admiring. Should all colors be admired equally, all being features of things created by God? Does rarity really make something more precious--purple seems rare in nature, but does this make other colors any more or less valuable? Consider the same question with regard to racial majorities and minorities in Africa and in the United States, which also are often distinguished by color.

Can you find Alice Walker as a character in the novel?

Examine the narrative structure employed by Walker. Remember that ultimately the choices in the narration are all really Walker's. Pay particular attention to the last line in the novel: "I thank everybody in this book for coming." Consider also how Walker might play the role of God in Celie's story, being the one who invests this creation with being and meaning.

How important is it that Nettie returns at the end of the novel?

Consider the ways that Nettie is important to Celie and for the whole narrative in terms of female solidarity, communication, and family struggles. Does the novel require a positive ending for it to be a positive story? Does Celie require such an ending to her own story? Is Nettie's return structurally significant in that once Nettie returns, the letter writing stops and so does the novel?

How do the male characters in the novel shape, break, or have other influence over the females?

A good way to approach such a question is to examine how the choices made by Celie and the other female characters might have been shaped by their experiences with the male characters in the novel. Consider their choices, thoughts, and feelings with regard to independence, family, entrepreneurship, and the other matters of value to the women. Note also that both positive and negative experiences with various men should be addressed.

Celie apparently prefers women to men in general, including sexually. In her case, her terrible treatment by men could be a critical factor. What could be going on in her mind?

There is not necessarily a relationship between Celie's social preferences and her sexual preferences, but there might be. Moreover, there may or may not be a link between her life experiences and her preferences. Use evidence from the text to try out a variety of possibilities to understand why Celie is the way she is. If she has different feelings about different men (likewise for different women), does this mean that we cannot even make a generalization about Celie's preferences? Do her views for or against men and women in general change over the course of the novel?

Sofia goes on quite a journey in the novel. How significant is it that Sofia ends up as a maid in a white family?

A good answer to this question will look deeply into Sofia's character. She is a fighter and seems more independent than Celie, but her journey is far less significant than that of Nettie. Consider also Sofia's relationships with her own family members as well as the portrayal of the white community in conjunction with the black community in Sofia's place and time.

What is the significance of the opening line?

Alfonso's words permeate Celie's life and her writing. Think about the narrative structure and why it is significant that we are reading letters written to God. Also consider the place of family and of males in Celie's life as well as the importance of communication with others.

What is the significance of Nettie's life in Africa?

Consider what themes characterize Nettie's life in Africa and why those themes might be important in Celie's life. Remember that what we know of Nettie's life in Africa is based on what Nettie thought she should communicate to Celie. In addition, Walker might be highlighting significant issues relating to the importance of Africa in black American history and culture.

Although Doris Baines only appears for a brief instant in the novel, she is an interesting and weighty character. What does she contribute to the novel?

This question provides an opportunity for a close reading of the section in which Doris appears. Important features here are her identity as an independent English woman who does not have traditional Christian views, her good work in Africa, her desire to leave her home life, her desire to travel, and her African grandson. More generally, consider how her character develops themes about race, gender, religion, and family in the novel.

Discuss the significance of the written versus the spoken word in this novel.

Consider which medium lasts longer, who the audience is or can be, the usual uses of letters versus conversation, the stylistic choices available in each medium, accuracy, spontaneity, and the role of direct versus indirect human interaction (such as voice inflection and gesture in the spoken word, and other kinds of emphasis and subtleties in the written word). Which characters or kinds of characters may make use of each medium, and for which purposes? How does storytelling in each medium function, particularly with regard to self-assertion and ownership over one's language as a proxy for ownership of one's story and one's life?

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The Color Purple Questions and Answers

The Question and Answer section for The Color Purple is a great resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.

The color purple

What chapter are you referring to?

Who fathered her children ?

That would be her father, Alfonso (Fonso/Pa)

With Reference to her text The Colour Purple discuss Walker's concept of Womanism

Check out Female Solidarity below:

Study Guide for The Color Purple

The Color Purple is a book by Alice Walker. The Color Purple study guide contains a biography of Alice Walker, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.

Essays for The Color Purple

The Color Purple is an epistolary novel by Alice Walker. The Color Purple literature essays are academic essays for citation. These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of The Color Purple by Alice Walker.

Lesson Plan for The Color Purple

Wikipedia Entries for The Color Purple

power in the color purple essay


Power In The Color Purple

Overcoming prejudices and self acceptance-the color purple.

Throughout Alice Walker’s novel, The Color Purple, the main character, Celie, reveals all of the hardships she has endured during her life. Celie confides in her younger sister, Nettie, and God to express the way she feels in certain situations. As the story progresses, Celie eventually finds her voice and breaks away from all the men who oppressed her during her life. For the duration of the novel, prejudice becomes a reoccurring theme. Not only does Celie struggle with the external prejudices of sexism and racism, but she also struggles with the internal prejudices toward herself. By using Celie’s struggles as an example, Walker teaches the reader that one must overcome prejudices in order to

Domestic Violence in The Color Purple by Alice Walker Essay

Men all through the globe have always been the dominant sex ever since the early former ages. Domestic Violence is a critical issue which negatively impacts women in the world today. The novel The Color Purple deals with the narrator Celie, a black woman uneducated and poor, who gets physically abused by both her so called father and husband. Throughout the novel, it is shown how a powerless woman rises and stands up for herself after years of being mistreated. Over 85% of women experience or go through a domestic violence through friends or family. Domestic Violence has sadly played a big role in families, specifically women, and has led to many deaths. The Color Purple demonstrates how through out the world, thousands of incidents of

Strength Grown by Celie

Within The Color Purple by Alice Walker, women are treated as inferior to men therefore they must obey them. Through the strength and wisdoms Celie gains from other women, she learns to overcome her oppression and realize her self worth as a woman. The women she has met throughout her life, and the woman she protected since young, are the people that helped her become a strong independent woman. Sofia and Shug were there for Celie when she needed someone to look up to and depend on. Nettie was able to push Celie to become a more educated, independent person. The main source of conflict in this book is Celie’s struggle with becoming an independent woman who needs not to rely on a man. Throughout the book we see her grow as a person and

Women of The Color Purple Essay

In the novel, The Color Purple, there are three main characters who demonstrate meaningful traits of women. Celie, the main character, is the most important of the three. She is influenced by other characters in the novel and is inspired to let herself seek their virtues. Celie's two friends, Shug and Sofia, are both strong women who teach Celie how to achieve the happiness she desires.

Review of Walker's Novel, The Color Purple Essay

The Color Purple is a very moving and spiritual book. It takes a women who has nothing to speak of going for her and who is a victim to the world, and it takes her to a place where she is a strong individual who can voice her own opinions about things without people telling her what to do. She gets incredible power that grows inside her throughout the book. It is only fully released near the end of the book when her sister, Nettie, is about to come home. As for her, Celie, she just survives during her life, and takes what is handed to her. Until one fateful day when a woman named Shrug comes into the picture and comes to stay with them while she is recovering from a disease. From that day on, Celie could see that some women stand up for

Honesty In The Color Purple By Alice Walker

Celie, in The Color Purple, goes through certain events in her life in which she finds hope. Although she has a terrible life, Celie manages to escape from all of the evil. When she was younger she was emotionally scarred by her father after her mother had passed due to being very ill (James Web). Her father would brutally rape and slap her to mourn the loss of his wife. Celie’s father then sells her to a man named Mister,

The Color Purple by Alice Walker Summary, Main Idea, Conflict, Point of View, Setting and Tone.

Though The Color Purple is a historical novel, it never refers to any factual events. Because of this, we presumably follow Celie through thirty or forty years of her life, from the age of fourteen up until her hair is gray. The setting of the novel is primarily rural Georgia in the early twentieth century. As a poor black woman in the rural south, Celie’s bad treatment is largely ignored which was the norm in this time period. Celie leaves Georgia to live in Memphis with Shug. There, Celie lives a life of luxury and empowerment. Living a poor, downtrodden life in the South, Celie had never stopped to consider her African heritage until Nettie sends

The Great Gatsby And The Color Purple

Similarly in The Color Purple, Celie struggles to fit into the society she was born into, suffering from low self-esteem and very little self-worth throughout the entirety of the book. This is evidenced in letter seventeen when Celie explains she “don’t feel nothing for them” and how they “don’t love” her “neither”, after suffering many brutalities it is as though she is dead inside, unable to love or be loved. Having noticed she does not sign her name at the end of her letters, is quite unusual. Most people would find pride in signing their name, especially when addressing God, reinforcing the idea that she has no confidence in the person she is or wishes to be. Being a victim of the ‘double oppression’, her ‘Pa’s’ anger and hostility towards the treatment of black people at the time, meant that Celie faced countless acts of extreme violence throughout her life. In letter five Celie explains her fathers ‘reasoning’ in giving her one of many ‘beatings’ after reportedly winking at a boy in church. Celie explains she

How Did Langston Hughes Contribute To The Civil Rights Movement

The whole process of the civil rights movement was to get African Americans equal treatment as American citizens. Hughes shows his reader the struggle of African American’s treatment through many of his poems. In “I,Too”, the reader sees the dream that the young servant dreams of every day, “They send me to eat in the kitchen When company comes, But I laugh, And eat well, And grow strong. Tomorrow, I’ll be at the

Similes In If We Must Die By Claude Mckay

McKay uses hopeful words and exclamation marks to rally his people to fight back for the cause. McKay used this tactic when he says, “We must meet the common foe!” (l. 9), to show that the oppressors are equal to them. This in turn encourages the African-Americans that they do have a chance to fight back. The emphasis with the exclamation points, and the encouraging words give the reader a sense of hope that the fight is possible. In the poem, exclamations serve the purpose of motivating the people to fight for freedom of oppression. While hopeful words encourage them that the cause is manageable and that they can change the future. An example of this is when McKay says, “even the monsters we defy/Shall be constrained to honor us though dead!” (l. 7-8). McKay shows that even the oppressors will have to honor them for dying nobilly with

Essay The Color Purple

The Color Purple by Alice Walker is a very controversial novel, which many people found to be very offensive. It is basically the struggle for one woman’s independence. The main character in The Color Purple is Celie a coloured woman with little or no education at all. She is one who has been used and abused by all the men in her life, and because of these men, she has very little courage or ambition in her life. She has so little courage, that all she wants to do is just survive. Through the various women she meets throughout here life like: Shug, her sister, and Harpo’s wife, she learns how to enjoy herself, gain courage and happiness. She finally learns enough and with the final straw she could no longer bare, she leaves her husband

The Struggles Faced In The Color Purple And The Joy Luck Club

Celie in The Color Purple has struggled since the very beginning because of the poor treatment she has received by men. Being raped by her father Fonso, Celie becomes pregnant and

The Color Purple Character Analysis

Characters throughout Alice Walker’s The Color Purple can be evaluated and analyzed using Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, a five-stage model consisting of fundamental needs and growth needs. His theory states that the basic, lower tiered needs have to be met before the growth, higher tiered needs can be met, to ultimately reach the top tier, self-actualization. In The Color Purple, Walker shows the eventual progress to self-actualization through the protagonist, Celie. Celie’s growth is shown through her letters to both God and her sister Nettie. Celie fulfills her basic physiological needs when she gets married to Mr._ because she is finally able to escape her father’s abuse, beatings, and rape. It takes a while, but Celie gains safety and security when Shug Avery tells her, “I won’t leave… until I know Albert won’t even think about beating you” (Walker 76). The relationship that Celie forms with Shug helps Celie satisfy her belonging and intimacy needs. Their love for each other can be shown when Shug states, “cause she [Nettie] the only one you ever love… sides me” (120). As Celie begins her life in Memphis, she meets the respect/self-respect needs when she opens her own business making and selling pants. Celie feels so pleased and shows her character development when she says, “I got love, I got work, I got money, friends, and time” (218). Celie finally reaches self-actualization by the end of the novel. She has a successful business, is able to be independent in her own house, and realizes that she can bring herself happiness and that through every situation she needs to see the bright side. This is evidently shown when Celie is talking to Mr._ and says, “If she [Shug] come, I be happy. If she don’t I be content” (288). Celie’s evolution to reach self-actualization is clearly displayed in The Color Purple as Celie faces and overcomes hardships and learns to be confident in herself.

The Color Purple, by Alice Walker and Push, by Sapphire Essay

The main character in Walker’s “The Color Purple” is Celie, a black woman who is treated very poorly by the men surrounding her. In her early years she is abused and raped by her stepfather, Alfonso, who she has two babies from. It shows already at the beginning of the novel that there is a mixture of parent – lover, parent – children roles, which can prevent Celie’s rise and also noting their similar history will be a barrier in Precious’s life as well. Throughout the novel the strong relationships she builds with the other female characters around her have the greatest impact on Celie’s life. This ‘sisterhood’ gives her the strength to liberate herself from the oppression created by men.

The Themes Of Diaspora In Alice Walker's Context

One very important theme throughout diasporic texts, is power. Power is weaved through the book The Color Purple by Alice Walker. From the beginning of story, it is very clear that men have power over the women in their society. Celie, who is the stories main character, gets dominated over by her father who sexually abuses her. Her father uses the power he has over Celie and forces her to not tell anyone what he does to her, which causes her to feel numb. When Celie’s father finally decides for her to get married, she is once again dominated by her husband Mr. Throughout her time living with Mr. Celie is once again not in control, and is abused physically and emotionally. Mr. believes that he has power of her and doesn’t respect women in general which leads to Celie be even more closed off. It is not until the story introduces Sofia and Shug Avery, that the reader finally sees the idea of power being turned upside down.

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power in the color purple essay

"The Color Purple" Analysis

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  1. The Color Purple Essay

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  1. The Color Purple: Themes | SparkNotes

    Throughout The Color Purple, Walker portrays female friendships as a means for women to summon the courage to tell stories. In turn, these stories allow women to resist oppression and dominance. Relationships among women form a refuge, providing reciprocal love in a world filled with male violence.

  2. Alice Walker's The Color Purple - 1139 Words | Essay Example

    The Color Purple is a story about female strength, resistance, and fight, all fueled by love. Conclusion The Color Purple is an impressive piece of American feminist literature. Walker tells the readers about the lives of impoverished and humiliated women and considers complex social relationships.

  3. Empowerment In Alice Walker’s The Colour Purple - Free Essay ...

    Alice Walker’s The Colour Purple implies that females empower each other when they are made small by others. The unequal power relationships between men and women in the novel form Celie into a woman who listens to the voices around her and diminishes herself because of other’s opinions.

  4. The Color Purple Essays | GradeSaver

    Color Itself: Race, Selfhood, and Symbolism in Walker's 'The Color Purple'. Cerys Myfanwy Evans 12th Grade. The Color Purple. The theme of color is very broad, and reaches strands out to many different emotions and feeling of Alice Walker's The Color Purple such as sadness, desire and hope. Color also is central to the society that the novel is ...

  5. The Color Purple Essay Questions | GradeSaver

    The Color Purple literature essays are academic essays for citation. These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of The Color Purple by Alice Walker. The Color Purple: Literary Techniques Employed by Alice Walker to Develop Celie's Character; Female Marginalisation Embodied in The Color Purple and The Yellow ...

  6. Theme Of Power In The Color Purple - 1061 Words | Bartleby

    The Color Purple is a 1985 film directed by Steven Spielberg and focuses on the life of Celie, an African American girl brought up around vigorous abuse. At a young age she is married off to her Mister and from then serves him, doing anything to meet his needs and pleasure him.

  7. Power In The Color Purple - 899 Words | Bartleby

    Power In The Color Purple Theme Of Power In The Color Purple. defines power as the ability to do something or act in a particular... Abuse Of Power In Alice Walker's The Color Purple. Institutions in India, goes in-depth about Celie, the protagonist in... Racism and Men's Power Over ...

  8. "The Color Purple" Analysis - Free Essay Example | EduZaurus

    In The Color Purple, Celie begins her story through a series of letters to God, the other chapters are from Nettie to Celie. The young underprivileged 14-year-old girl expresses her story of having been abused by both her step-father and, later in life, her husband, silently, to best ensure her survival.