World Equality Novel

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The Color Purple: A Perfect World

Smiling Faces, hearts full of Love, much laughter, many memories—a perfect world where both man and woman can feel comfortable in their equality. In The Color Purple, Alice Walker portrays Celie throughout the novel as a dynamic character, gradually changing who she is. At the end of the novel, Celie is surrounded by family and friends who love her, and, surprisingly, the men have come to accept woman's place in society is more than just a piece of property. In this ideal world, men and women can live together without feeling uncomfortable or degraded; it's a place where everyone is at peace with each other and when the world is at peace, no one is beaten.

In the beginning of the novel, Celie is beaten, degraded and sullied; the men in her life have cruelly decided her future for her, full of malicious acts. In result, Celie believes it is a woman's place to let man do anything he pleases. “Harpo ast me what he ought to do to her [his wife] to make her mind. Beat her. I say” (36). To Celie, being beaten is the only way to control a woman and a woman is only there to allow the man to feel in control. She feels that this is the natural order of life. “He beat me when you not here, I [Celie] say. Who do, she [Shug] say, Albert? Mr.______, I say. I can't believe it, she say. What he beat you for? For being me and not you” (75). Celie has been so degraded by men that she finds it natural to be a beating stock for men. Shug cannot understand what Celie has gone through, which, in turn, has Celie seeing Shug's life as glorified. Celie believes that since Shug lives above society's rules, she is not beaten, but the women who do live by society's rules get beaten. Celie believes a woman's place in life is under the thumb of her husband, never to breathe, speak, or act without his permission.

As the novel comes to an end, Celie is surrounded by many friends and family members who have come to see woman's worth and how important it is to have her in life. Nevertheless, Celie's trust in men can never be fully restored. “Then the old devil [Mr.______] put his arm around me and just stood there on the porch with me real quiet. Way after while, I bent my stiff neck onto his shoulder. Here us is, I thought, two old fools left over from love, keeping each other company under the stars” (271). Finally, they have come to be at peace with each other; they are even comfortable enough to sit silently with out any awkward feelings. It is incredible to see that Mr. ______ can spend time with Celie without making any caustic remarks. Even the way Harpo treats Mary Agnes and Sofia has changed Mary Agnes can joke with Harpo and Harpo just laughs because he is no longer trying to become the owner of women: “Ah, Harpo, say Mary Agnes. I didn't know you knowed history” (287). Through Sofia's boldness and Celie's gradually increased self-confidence, Harpo began to see that women are not worthless and are real human beings. Black men were held as lowly creatures, and black women held even lower, by both whites and blacks alike; however, all changed when the women began to speak their mind.

In Alice Walker's idealistic views, it is clear that she envisions a world where man and woman can see themselves as equals. Someone once said, “The first woman was created from the rib of a man. She was not made from his head to top him, nor from his feet to be trampled on by him, but out of his side to be equal to him” (Thinkexist). Walker would agree with this passage because it clearly demonstrates the relationship between man and woman—absolute equality. Walker wanted to show that it is possible to have a world where men and women can get along in harmony. Her views may be very idealistic, but her world, where there are neither superiors nor discrimination, is what we, as a people today, should be trying to achieve.

Idealism is “the cherishing or pursuit of high or noble principles, purposes, goals” ( Alice Walker wanted her world to come together with the pursuit of equality. She wanted a world where women and men did not have to compete or struggle against one another, but work together as one. Her world may be too idealistic, but idealism is the only way we can better our world; and we can begin doing this by using Walker's beliefs—striving to create absolute equality between man and woman.


"Idealism-Defintions From Dictionary.Com." Dictionary.Com. 14 Feb. 2008


"Finding Quotations Was Never This Easy." Thinkexist. 2006. 14 Feb. 2008


Walker, Alice. The Color Purple. Orlando: Har Court, Inc., 1982.

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