The Color Purple, an epistolary novel penned by American author Alice Walker in 1982 explores several controversial themes such as gender roles, racism, sexual identity, and powerful female relationships. By the end of the novel Celie has experienced love, started her own business, and learned to accept herself. The Color Purple is a 1982 epistolary novel by American author Alice Walker which won the 1983 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the National Book Award for Fiction. When Celie tells Shug that she will stop writing to God because he does not listen, Shug teaches her something highly significant. One has a certain power and responsibility in creating a world or judging a world that has been created by oneself or someone else. Shug is a powerful goddess who refuses to be brought down by men, ever vigilant to maintain the upper hand. tell stories. Themes In Shakespeare's 'The Color Purple' 1250 Words | 5 Pages. Harpo, for example, beats Sofia only after his father The Color Purple is an honest emotional story about love, trust, respect, separation, friendships, and the bond between sisters. The presentation of everything is under Celie's control, although she permits Nettie's letters to present Nettie's perspective. newfound power, her cursing of Mr. ______ for his years of abuse, Although she does not realize it at the time, every word she writes is an assertion that she deserves to be heard. Also consider how this format allows Celie to tell her story in her own reliable voice, uninterrupted by the oppressive men in her life. However, because she is so unaccustomed to articulating The Color Purple is an epistolary novel by Alice Walker. The theme of Alice Walker’s The Color Purple is very straightforward and simple. The novel starts with a series of letters between Celie and God were she viewed him as an “old white man” who does not respond to her letters Those who Although acknowledging that the film was a period drama, he praised its "... incredibly strong stand against the way black men treat black women. This success is an example of the hope in human struggle, providing courage and strength for readers who do not yet feel able to communicate fully with others. Walker emphasizes throughout the novel that the ability As an African-American female living in the pre-Civil Rights South, she sees nothing in her race to be particularly proud of. When Celie writes her first letter to God, we have a very limited idea of what she means by God. Themes such as feminine, sexism, colors, and god. Dear Everything. Almost none of the abusers in Walker’s novel are stereotypical, Sofia regains her freedom eventually, Siskel wrote that The Color Purple was "a plea for respect for black women." A.W., author and medium." Copyright © 1999 - 2021 GradeSaver LLC. by telling it to Shug. Dear Audience, We hope that you enjoy our presentation which we have created for the sake of literary excellence. words. Throughout her written letters, we see her writing, perhaps rewriting, her world and the divinity it expresses. These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of The Color Purple by Alice Walker. The Color Purple Themes Celie's narrative. Genesis Cuevas Eng/queer Lit346 Professor Schneiderman November 30, 2018 Paper # 3- Putting it all Together Throughout Alice Walker's The Color Purple' she uses two opposite characters such as Celie and Shug Avery who come together when abuse takes place. For Celie, God moves from being a person to being something (not someone) inside Celie, a goodness that inspires. Likewise, sister Nettie, who never knows if her letters will reach Celie, writes religiously to her, and their communication is eventually granted to them. The Color Purple literature essays are academic essays for citation. I guess this would prove he had ne backbone. LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in The Color Purple, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work. Violence and Suffering. Themes in the Color Purple by Alice Walker The Color Purple by Alice Walker details sisters Nettie and Celie as they are faced with challenges finding who they are in the world. It was later adapted into a film and musical of the same name. The white missionary Doris Baines also instills us with hope. culture of Africa. When Shug and Celie discuss their idea of God, Shug explains that God is in everything and that God is the beauty in nature. Sofia claims that h… efforts at transparency. In renaming Celie a “virgin,” These bright, exuberant colors are full of energy. They communicated through dance, song, and gesture, passing on their stories of woe and of freedom from one generation to another. Kissel, Adam ed. More than all this, Shug and Celie loves each other with a very strong love born from isolation, desire for something better, and acceptance of one another. them. This book is Celie's narrative. At the start of the novel, the young, black female is presented as about the most vulnerable person in society. Eleanor Jane loves Sofia as she would a mother, despite her race and because of her care. It was published back in 1982 by Alice Walker. Celie is a victim of male abuse who has closed herself off from the possibility of trusting men. When Mary Agnes first starts writing her own songs, they are songs about color: "they call me yellow/like yellow be my name." The two framing lines highlight Walker's narrative structure, yet what they frame is the world as perceived by Celie. to God, in which she begins to pour out her story, become her only Indeed, the novel is made up most of all by Celie's own writings, which she began out of the necessity of telling her story after being commanded to otherwise be silent. to express one’s thoughts and feelings is crucial to developing While Christians typically point to dedicating their lives to pleasing him, God also likes to please us. As the narrative perspective shifts and develops, so too does Celie's view of God. The Color Purple documents the traumas and gradual triumph of Celie, an African American teenager raised in rural isolation in Georgia, as she comes to resist the paralyzing self-concept forced on her by others. Their education, with help from Aunt Nettie, allows them to choose at an early age the sort of life they would like to live. He didn't marry her because his father wouldn't approve. Many of the relationships are disturbed over the course of the novel but are later restored: Sofia returns to her family and to Harpo, Shug returns from her travels with Germaine, and Nettie arrives home with Celie’s children. Relationships among women form a refuge, providing The Color Purple, Alice Walker The Color Purple is a 1982 epistolary novel, by American author Alice Walker, which won the 1983 Pulitzer Prize, for Fiction and the National Book Award for Fiction. The Color Purple Analysis Kinley Vowers English 12 In the color purple Alice walker expresses several themes that can still be seen today. The first line of the novel is the only line of direct speech and the only line which falls outside the framework of the letters written by Celie and Nettie. The central theme of “The Color Purple” is to always have hope for the future and to not let the bad moments take over. Not affiliated with Harvard College. a sense of self. Doris Baines is a clever woman who has made herself happy in Africa. When Celie writes her first... Creative expression. During the novel several characters find their voices and their own expression: Shug recovers from her illness and continues singing, Mary Agnes starts singing and writing songs, Celie and Sofia start off by making quilts, and Celie eventually runs her own business making pants. Violence and Suffering Theme Analysis. At the beginning of the novel, Celie is extremely downtrodden—almost to the point of being defeated. #Uncategorized #1517x853; Help How to install a chrome theme? In a similar way, although Celie is forced into silence by Alfonso, by writing her letters she engages in creative expression and communication so that her story is received by all her readers. by kristy-littlehale. For much of The Color Purple, Celie sees sex as a form of violence and control, or, at best, as an uninspiring obligation to her husband. This perspective challenges the general view of God in their society, as though God is someone who can be visited or expected to come when called--or as though God is some white old man with a white-grey beard. It is also strange that the line is in italics, which is a formal, even academic way of drawing attention to a spoken line. Theme of Identity in 'The Color Purple'. Shug is often described in colorful terms: she is rouged in the photograph Celie first sees of her and twice wears seductive bright red dresses during the course of Celie’s records. Contrastingly, the clothes Celie is able to choose from when she goes shopping with Kate are brown, maroon, or navy blue because Kate doesn’t think Mr. ______ will want to pay for her preferred red or purple because they look "too happy." Interestingly, another line appears after Celie’s last letter: "I thank everybody in this book for coming. A Sexism Sexual relations between men and women in The Color Purple is a major theme. Therefore, although writing lettersenables self-e-xpression and confession, it requires a willing audience.When Celie never responds to Nettie’s letters, Nettie feels lostbecause Celie is her onl… that the only way to persevere is to remain silent and invisible. from her strong relationships with her sisters. Primarily focused on protagonist, Celie, the novel is structured through a series of letters that Celie has written to God. Her example of persistence in writing to God is her way of persistence in being heard, in writing instead of orally. "The Color Purple" shows themes of gender inequality, sexually explicitness, and violence throughout the book. Violence and suffering in The Color Purple are typically depicted as part of a greater cycle of tragedy taking place both on the family level and on a broader social scale. Celie’s forceful assertion of this Celie narrates her life through painfully honest letters to God. The first words written by Celie, the novel's protagonist, are \"Dear God,\" and the novel ends with a letter, the salutation of which reads, \"Dear God. After he rebuilds himself, The narrative, though, is Celie's; the author has merely been the medium, the means by which Celie's story is told, in one sense as the author and in another sense as the novel itself. some are in the form of mentor and pupil, some are sexual, and some Celie’s children find their way into the bosom of that family and are protected by it. no power to assert herself through action or words. Report Abuse; ... ThemeBeta.com is a web site for Theme Designers to create and share Chrome Themes online. Within Celie’s family, we can already see change in her children, which opens up endless possibilities for her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. That is, until she meets a … Starting small, each enterprise is an example of courage and hard work that pays off in the end. The “Purple Orchid Three” is a sweet potato grown by its Hainan developers from seeds taken into space in 2005 on China’s “Shenzhou VI” rocket. Dear stars, dear trees, dear sky, dear peoples. It is generally true that books are often banned because they display inappropriate themes. is violent and mistreats his family much like his own tyrantlike Mr. ______ -Color- Color is used throughout the novel to signify realization or rebirth “[Mr. _____] still live in the same little house...He keep it painted now though. "The Color Purple Themes". ThemeBeta.com is not sponsored or affiliated by Google Inc. In Shug and Sofia, Celie finds sympathetic ears and learns The Question and Answer section for The Color Purple is a great Apply theme. Color purple activities for parents, homeschools, daycares, and preschools. Walker presents Du Bois accurately in The Color Purple because he certainly would have been appalled at Aunt Theodosia's ignorance. She appreciates the world, from her own sexual ecstasies to the color purple she finds in nature. This last line is an admission by the author that she has indeed been present throughout--and so has the audience, the book's readers. narrative and speech to assert selfhood and resist oppression, the The title symbolizes a main theme in the novel which is freedom and liberation. Knowing that she does not want to be a subservient wife, Olivia (like Nettie before her) works hard to ensure that she can be independent without a man controlling her life. Friendship becomes a vehicle for people to change and grow out of their original selves. Like many other novels devoted to the mistreatment of blacks and black women especially, The Color Purple is dedicated to black women’s rights. Shug does not tell her to imagine a black God instead, nor does Shug simply tell Celie to keep believing anyway because God will return in the way she remembers him. What does this say about his character? She becomes closer to Mr. ______ through their shared love of Shug and then by their listening to and relating to one another. Like many other novels devoted to the mistreatment of blacks and black women especially, The Color Purple is dedicated to black women’s rights. Alice Walker sets her story of Celie's transformation from a passive female to an independent woman within the culture of southern black rural society from the 1920s to the 1940s. The first line of the novel is the only line of direct speech and... God. Dear God.\" This encapsulates The Color Purple's relationship to religion and spirituality: a transition from a belief in a single God, an old white man in a long beard, to a God that exists all around Female ties take many forms: some are motherly or sisterly,some are in the form of mentor and pupil, some are sexual, and someare simply friendships. It is unsurprising, given the circumstances, that Celie and Shug become involved romantically. not never tell nobody but God” about his abuse of her, Celie feels The Color Purple is a book by Alice Walker. Fresh and white.” After Celie finally leaves Mr. _____ he goes into a state of depression. Still, it is not until the end of the novel that she most fully sees what she has been doing all along: creating her own story. Celie epitomizes this female: she is abused and denied a voice by her (supposed) father and then by her husband. Although they each travel their own journey and learn their own lessons, when the relationships are restored they are bonded by family and friendships that transcend the pain of the past and the earlier roles that had caused tension. Though Walker clearly wishes to emphasize the power of Mr. ______, causing him to reassess and change his own life. It was later adapted into a film and musical of the same name.. Updated: 1/27/2020. those who abuse her. Rather, Shug tells Celie to feel loved by God by being herself. Nettie’s relationship At first, God is an abstract, authoritative, and dependable figure to whom Celie can share herself. As the narrative perspective shifts and develops, so too does Celie's view of God. She is a very different woman from the fourteen-year-old at the beginning. Purple seems rare in nature. The Color Purple study guide contains a biography of Alice Walker, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis. her experience, her narrative is initially muddled despite her best By the end of the novel, these women are no longer powerless; they have joined forces and are forging their own lives. Both of these characters epitomize a characteristic that in In these cases, people grow and change separately before coming back together. Likewise, the Olinka tribe do not believe in educating their women, and although there are no reports of abuse against women by men in Nettie’s letters, female subservience is unchallenged, and the debasing initiation ceremony continues without contest--except from Nettie and her family. “It’s gon’ rain on your head!” Just plain funny, this offered comedic relief during a tough time. female friendships as a means for women to summon the courage to Sofia always fought her brothers, and we see how she has to fight Harpo to assert her equality. Shug explains that one does not find God in a church but through oneself. Sexual relations between men and women in The Color Purple is a major theme. Alice Walker used the color purple in particular since it is a bright color and indicates new beginnings and new starts. 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