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The Color Purple

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Autor:   •  December 6, 2010  •  2,751 Words (12 Pages)  •  1,124 Views

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Section 1 Celie's Awakening

The novel The Color Purple, by Alice Walker is a story about the struggle and the transformation of the protagonist Celie from a shy little girl that never stood up for herself who later on in her life developed into a strong confident and independent woman. Her awakening is due in large parts to the many female figures she met throughout her life. These figures are her sister Nettie, Mr.____'s sister Kate, Harpo's wife Sofia, and the singer Shug Avery.

The setting of the story is in the early 1900's in a small town in Georgia. The story is told in a first person narrative by the main character Celie. Celie starts out as a quiet character that lets everyone around her run all over her without standing up for her self. The story starts off as Celie being a young fourteen year old girl describing the physical and sexual abuse in which she has to endure by her step father. During Celie's teen years, she had been impregnated twice by her father and both babies were taken from her at birth. One day a man whom Celie always referred to as Mr.____ came by the house of Celie's father Alfonso and asked for his daughter Nettie's hand in marriage. His offer was refused but Celie was offered instead. It took Mr.____ roughly four months to make up his mind but in time he did and accepted Celie's hand in marriage.

This marriage is anything but joyful to Celie. Just as her step father Alfonso did, Mr.____ physically and sexually abused her. One day Celie's little sister Nettie ran away from home to escape the abuse of their father and came to live with Celie. Mr.____ wastes no time on making passes at Nettie. After not giving into his advances, Nettie is forced to leave. Nettie taught Celie how to read before she left because Nettie was the more educated one. Nettie promised to always write Celie but after not hearing from Nettie throughout the years, Celie presumed that Nettie had died. Mr.____ has had an obsession with a woman by the name of Shug Avery for many years, even while he was with his first wife. Shug is described to be a beautiful dark skinned woman that is a musical performer. Celie admires Shug ever since she sees her photograph. Celie even has dreams about Shug. One day Shug comes by and her and Celie become friends, not instantly but they do. Shug taught Celie how to feel beautiful about her self. Shug also discovers the mail that was sent to Celie from Nettie that is proof to Celie that Nettie had not been dead all these years.

There were many other important figures in the story that helped Celie with her awakening. Miss Sophia was a strong and tough woman that showed Celie that there are women out there that aren't afraid to stand up for them self. Kate is Mr.____'s sister that also encouraged Celie to stand up for herself. While reading all the mail in which Mr.____ had hid from Celie throughout their marriage, Celie began to slowly transform from a shy little girl that took beatings and abuse to a strong willed independent woman that eventually stood up to her husband and left him in the process. By doing so, Celie reclaimed her life and also meets back up with her sister Nettie and children whom had been living in Africa.

Section 2 The Color Purple Analysis

Author Alice Walker uses different types of women characters to each in their own way help with the awakening and growth of the protagonist Celie. Celie meets different women throughout the different stages and periods of her life and all gives her different advice as to how to break away from the "invisible" person she prefers to be.

At the start of the novel, Celie can be described as shy, quiet, unresponsive, and ignorant. Celie would take beatings from both her father and husband without trying to defend her self. Celie is quoted in saying, "It all I can do not to cry. I make myself wood. I say to myself, Celie, you a tree (Walker 22)." The author uses a first person narrative to show the readers exactly what Celie is thinking throughout the novel. Readers can easily see the Celie has a low self-esteem and by saying something like the quote above, practically no "fight" in her. Celie however with the help of another character in the novel by the name of Shug Avery, begins to break away from this type of personality and begins her inner transformation. The author places a variety of different black women in the novel, each in their own way helping Celie by giving her advice. Take Nettie for example; she told Celie "You got to fight. You got to fight (Walker 17)." The author uses Nettie to help change the look in which Celie has on life. The life in which Celie is living is unhealthy and it doesn't give anyone the chance to see how great of a person she really is behind all the bruises and aprons. Another character that helped Celie in her transformation is Kate whom is the sister of Celie's husband Mr.____. She sees how well Celie keeps the house and comments on how she shouldn't stand for the abuse that is put on her by Mr.____. Kate can be quoted as saying "You got to fight Celie; I can't fight for you (Walker 21)." This shows readers that even though Celie listened to the words of encouragement of her sister, she still hasn't made her change into a strong willed woman as of yet. Celie still lets Mr.____ and his children run all over her.

The author lets readers know Celie's every emotion towards her surroundings through a technique of telling everything to God. These letters to God in which Celie is writing shows readers the inner thoughts of Celie and how good of a person she really is. It also lets readers know that even kind people that never did anything to deserve such harsh abuse can become subjected to it back in the Celie's time period. It also shows that God is practically all that she has in her life besides her sister. These conversations are also a good way of readers to track Celie's progress in her inner emancipation might one call it.

Through these letters, readers can get even more of an in depth view of how soft spoken Celie really is. It even revealed slight changes that are evidence of a change to come. After reading letters from Nettie, the reader can notice slight changes in the way Celie behaves. She goes off with Shug to find her "Pa" whom Nettie told Celie is not their real father. Readers can notice that Celie is on her way to self discovery. After reading the letters from Nettie, Celie now no longer writes to God, she now writes to Nettie. This is perhaps the most defining moment of Celie's transformation. Readers especially notice the emancipation at the dinner table

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