The Color Purple Report

Essay add: 9-03-2016, 11:08   /   Views: 960
The Color Purple Report

The Color Purple is a fictional story about black women in abusive relationships that try to gain their independence. This book let’s the reader in on Celie, the main character’s, life. She starts out as a poor, pathetic object and becomes a self-confident loved woman. At the time of publication, The Color Purple was a very controversial novel. Many thought it was a bad portrayal of men and whites. Alice Walker, though, tries to focus on “womanism” which is a main topic in her books.

The Color Purple is about a poor black girl, Celie in the early 1900’s. The unique format of all letters from Celie to God give us an insight into her life. The reader is able to follow Celie through years of growth and maturity. The book begins with the reader finding out the protagonist, Celie, was raped by a man known as “Pa” and gets pregnant twice by him . Soon after her mother dies, Celie is left with the role of housekeeper and is soon forced to marry Mr._______, a man with many kids. This man, whom the reader only knows as “Albert ______”, is really in love with Nettie, Celie’s sister and only friend. “Pa” convinces him Celie would be more efficient as far as child-rearing is concerned. Her relationship with Mr._____ is very similar to the one with her “Pa.” Soon, Celie learns about Shug, her husband’s mistress. Shug is everything Celie isn’t and comes to their household sick forcing Celie to be her servant. Shug is an important character in the book. Celie begins to see other woman in her life and is jealous of their independence. They are not in the same kind of relationship she and Mr._____ are in. Shug shows Celie new things and allows he to enjoy life a little more. Celie soon learns her husband had been hiding letters that were from her sister, Nettie, who she assumed was dead. From Nettie, she learns “Pa” was not heir father and that Nettie is with Celie’s two children. Celie begins to write to Nettie instead of God. With the strength of her own and Shug, Celie leaves Albert (her husband) to go to Memphis with Shug. In Memphis, Celie has her own business where she makes pants. She goes back to her home and Albert has changed considerably. Although they do not become romantically involved they become good friends. Celie moves back into her own hours and for once feels happy with Shug by her side. The ending of the book is a beginning to Celie’s life.

There were several recurring themes in The Color Purple. Self-reliance was very prominent throughout the important characters’ lives. Celie was able to turn her life around and think on her own after meeting Shug, her only friend. Sex is also a main part of their life. Celie thought sex was just something that had to be done but Shug showed her it was an experience. Once Celie realizes this, she does not think of herself as an object. The color purple always plays a key role in the novel. It becomes a connection to religion for Celie. Shug feels the color purple should be noticed and enjoyed because it exists. Celie is like the color purple because she has gone unnoticed her whole life and is finally being noticed as she builds character. It is a great discovery for Celie when she realizes she is a person and has the right to be acknowledged. Womanhood is also expressed very well. Instead of a man showing Celie what it is like to enjoy life, Shug shows her. Through Shug she is able to be herself and gain her own character.

Alice Walker is an American poet and author who centers her writings on the lives of poor, oppressed Afican American women. She was born in Eatonton, Georgia and was educated at Spelman and Sarah Lawrence colleges. The experiences she went through her senior year of college, such as an abortion and a trip to Africa, became many of her book’s themes. She won the American Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize for The Color Purple in 1982. Alice Walker’s other popular novels are THe Third Life of Grange Copeland, Merdian, and The Temple of My Familiar. She also wrote two short story collections and In Love and Trouble and You Can’t Keep a Good Woman Down. She wrote four volumes of poetry and a book collected poems She no resides in northern California.

I enjoyed this book if only for it’s unique presentation. It was the best way to see Celie how Celie saw herself. Unlike an omniscient or third-person view, I was able to see the changes as Celie experienced them. The book, however, is meant for a mature audience. The explicit, graphic language used was so we would get the full effect of the book, which I did.

The Color Purple was a very powerful book. No one can read this novel without being moved. Alice Walker was able to get her point across. It can interpreted different ways, like the importance of women sticking together. Many lessons can be learned from Celie’s hard battle not only from racism in general from racist whites but also sexist men in her own culture.

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