THE COLOR PURPLE 7
Name of Student
The color purple
Inthe years of 1930s, in the Georgian rural region, an uneducatedAfrican-American girl is sexually abused by her father for a verylong time. Due to herdesperation, she drafts letters to God indicating that herfather raped and impregnated hertwice. The abusive father forcefullymarries her off to a man who initially wanted to marry her youngersister, Nettie. Celie refers to this man as Mister,with whom she endures a marriage without love.She takescare of Mister’sfour children becausehe was a widower. Nonetheless, Celiegets regularly beatenand raped,making her life more miserable. Onthe other hand, Alphonso -Celie’s dad,mistreats Nettie,who eventually decides to seek refuge at her sister’s place. Here,Mister makes sexual advances on her. As a result, Nettie runs away,making Celie and her family to presume thatNettie is dead.
Meanwhile, Shug Avery – a pop singer,and mistress to Nettie’s husbandcomes to stay at their home. Celie finds her attractiveand gradually develops a sexualattraction towards her. After some time, Shug and Celie discover apile of letters from Nettie. All along, Mister had been hiding theseletters from Celie despite receiving themand knowing that the family had assumed that Nettie is dead. In theseletters, Nettie explains how she has been living in Africa with somemissionaries. More so, the letters cover both Nettie and Celie,and they show how each of them has evolved in the journey ofdiscovering oneself towards independence and happiness(Kesselman, McNair, Schniedewind, Susan, & Parameswaran, 2011).
On the other side, Celie`smother was sick. She cursedCelie, and died leaving her alone to deal with their father.As a result of the abusive lifestylethat Celie leads, she encourages hisstepson, Harpo, to beat his wife, Sofia.Celie wants Harpo to beat Sofia so as to make herobedient and submissive to him. Later, Sofia confronts Celieconcerning the betrayal making her (Sofia)remain a strong woman in the entire novel.
The novel is also inspiring becausedespite Nettie’supbringing, she is God-fearing and self-confident. The letters showthatCelie’s children are alive, and they live with Nettie’smissionaries. Celie’s energy was rekindled making her confront herfather whom she discovered was a stepfather.She then confronts her abusive husband.She leaveshim and goesto stay with Shug. She thengainsconfidence and strength enabling her to open her business of makingpants. Then in a twist of events, Celie and Albert developsa bond, which once again growsinto respect and love.
Thereis a need for thereaders to understand that The ColorPurple is an extremely rousing andmoving piece of literature. Its content has abundant adult themes.They include incest, rape, sexism, explicit sex, lesbianism, andoppression of women. There is a vibrant portrayal of the harsh lifeand discrimination, which the African Americans who lived in therural areas underwent. This era (before the civil rights werechampioned) had all forms of abuse asportrayed by Alice Walker. There is a criticismof how she depicts African-American males as harmfuland irresponsible. On my personal basis, the pre-human rights era wasoppressive to all the African Americans not necessarily the females.In fact, most of those who suffered were the males because they couldwork on farms and industries as slaves. Additionally, the maleswere energetic to execute hard labor. According to the AmericanLibrary Association, the novel was among those that werechallenged most of the times between theyears 2000 and 2009. The criticism was due to its use of violence,strong language,and sex. They ranked it the seventeenth out of 100. Moreover, therewas its film in 1985and a musical in 2005. These received greater criticism by theAmerican population, as well as the international community(Kesselman, et al. 2011).
Interestingly,the novel gives a profoundand emotional depiction of the awkwardmoments, and limited freedom that the poor and less educated blackwomen endured during the pre-civil rights South of America. Despitethese tribulations, Alice carries the reader through the journey ofendurance and perseverance that the women adopted before achievingself-actualization and independence. By winning the Pulitzer Prize,and the National Book Award for its fiction, there is an indicationthat despite the criticism, the book waswidely accepted as having lessons onhistorical injustices and racism. Additionally, it was one of thebest works of Alice Walker. Moreover, it sold many copies after beingreleased in 1982and continued to be soldsince then. At times, it was usedin high school. However,there has been constant editing due to explicit contents like sex,and strong language.The film, in 1985, earned 11 nominations for the Academy Awards.There was also another one nomination for having the best picture.Furthermore, in 2006, the musical versions of 2005 got 11 nominationsfor the Tony Award. It is a difficult task for many novels to achievesuch a status in the modern times (Vinothini2014,p. 232).
Additionally,Walker sets a beautiful flow of the book. As each of the letters isunveiled,Celie gradually gains independence. An urge to understand whathappens next iselicitedby her use of strong words, and a sense of command. Just like apyramid that is inverted, the book slowly grows itself in a broadway. At the same time, there is balance in the imagination.
Any reader ofthe novel will realizethat Walker has achieved a given target that is rare. Withoutdwelling into preciousness, she makes an epistolary book thematic andeducative. In its original and innate form, Celie’s voice depictshonesty and moodiness. Celie remains the book’s protagonist, butnot that of the world she dwells. Thisisthe reason she writes letters to God.Moreover, the letters have a dialect that isbroken.Therefore, some lyrics and juxtapositions areexhibited.The evolution throughout Celie’s time of the story isshownin the letters due to observations. As one reads, they feel somechange in the rhythm and beat of Celie’s words. It cannot only bewatchedbut also felt (Vinothini2014, p. 231).
Additionally,the use of other characters besides Celie gives abroadscope of themes in the novel. Other characters include Sofia and ShugAvery, as well as Harpo, who regularlyeats in a bid to surpass his wife’s big body. These characterssatisfy Walker’s intended themes. Again, the book has been verycompetitive in the twentieth century for casting secondarycharacters. Nevertheless, some media agencies like EssenceMagazinerefused to run an excerpt in the book terming Walker as a hater ofhumanity. To delete the restricted setting in the beginning of thenovel, Walker introduces Africa in a turn of events and usesdifferent characters (Kesselman, etal. 2011).
Unlike manybooks that only confine their characters and activities in theauthor’s mind, ThePurple Colourcarries the reader with it. However, the masterpiece has invadedculture especially in using characters like Celie. Some usersmay call themselves such names because of the novel. Likewise,sisters may call one another Celie and Nettie. Also, aperson who has traits like strength and maintains their beauty may becalled Shug. Thesedetailsreveal how the book has been influential in shaping the society(Kesselman, et al. 2011).
In conclusion,it is evident that Alice Walker wrote athrillingnovel in the 1930s. It describes the protagonist, Celie, a blackfemale who walks through a hard life of abuse by the father, husband,and the general society. Additionally, other characters like Nettieher sister, endure the same, but make a bold decision to escape,landing in the missionary world. Any analysis or discussion of thenovel breaks into arguments divided along the lines of gender. Thedepiction of African American males is negative.Thisisbecause,they propagate many injustices against their female counterparts. Thebook has won awards,and various nominations in America. Nonetheless, criticisms of thenovel have been constant both in America, and the rest of the world.
Kesselman, A., McNair, L., Schniedewind, n.,Susan, K., & Parameswaran, G. (2011). Women- Images and Realities: A Multicultural Anthology (5thed., pp. 500-688). New York: McGraw-Hill Companies.
Vinothini, M. (2014, March 3). The color purple: Asearch for self. The Research journal ofEnglish Language and Literature,230-232. Chicago: Mill City Press.
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