The constant and explicit talk about sexuality is one of the many reasons why there are high schools who banned the work of fiction from school curriculums. The incestual scenes between Celie and her father alarmed the parents of Little Axe High School and they force the school to ban the novel Norman.
Although there are some overtly explicit experiences Celie dealt with, it is nothing that should be banned. Some high schools, usually those with a predominantly Black population can relate to this story, but schools like Little Axe High School probably would find a harder time relating to the story since their school is predominantly White. However, that does not mean someone White would not enjoy reading the novel. A Caucasian student, attending Warren Mott high school as a senior this year, actually enjoyed reading the novel in her English 11 class her junior year.
To help enhance the understanding of African American culture and history, The Color Purple has been put in many high school curriculums. Throughout the novel, Celie struggles with her sexuality.
This is an example of the internal conflict within Celie. All her life she was beaten and raped by the men, including her father and husband. Dealing with much abuse causes Celie to have no confidence. Celie has no sense of her own actuality. She has no self worth, inner beauty, or formal intelligence. As Celie works through her internal conflict, the symbols employed throughout the novel are shown. The conflicts worked through the novel to add to the tragic and upsetting atmosphere.
Along with internal conflict, there was also some external conflict. There was external conflict between Celie and the men in her life. Her father and husband are just some of the examples of external conflict. Not only did the protagonist have external conflicts between men, other supporting characters such as Sofia and Harpo did as well.
The males in the story try to dominate their women, while some succeed in doing so and others do not. Celie is an example of the women who accepted the oppression and just tried to survive. Day by day, she never fought back until given the courage in the end. Sofia, on the other hand, was an example of how women fought back against the sexist ideas that men could do whatever they wanted to overpower their wives, including beat them. Relationships were significant in the development of the novel.
The relationships between women and women, men and women, and people and God were illustrated. Just like there was love among the women, there was also jealously.
The women stayed within competition of one another until they were finally able to ban to together and rise against the men in their lives that were keeping them down. The relationship between Celie and Shug was one the most prominent relationship in the story.
After their bond was formed Celie learns many life lessons that ultimately help to liberate her from the captivity of male dominance in the story. Next, the relationships between men and women often lacked love and passion in their marriages.
The men were too busy following after their fathers that they never learned how to truly love their wives. In doing so, some lost their wives respect and love in some circumstances.
Harpo formed the conclusion that by beating his wife like his father did to Celie, he might create a more controlling and accepting relationship between him and his wife. In response, Sofia lashes out and fights back. She was the perfect example of women who were true to themselves in mind and physique. Additionally, the males in the novel let their violent fathers dictate how they handled their own relationships.
Furthermore, the relationships that Celie encounters with men in her life cause her to feel no type of attraction or passion from men. What is it like? He git up on you, heist your nightgown round your waist, plunge in. He never know the difference.
Never ast me how I feel, nothing. In this excerpt, Celie describes how she felt about having intercourse with her husband. Unfortunate enough, no love or passion is felt, just abuse. Last, but not least, the relationship among people and God was exemplified through Celie and how she views God.
After being raped Celie loses her sense of love with God. To Celie, God was a male therefore, she lost faith in him like all the other males she had to encounter in her life. Writing to him out of loss of hope, she loses sight of the color purple and the liberation of life. By the end of the novel, Celie realizes the color purple is nature and the two combined is God as well.
Viewing the two as one, she grasps the feeling of joy and being free. Symbolism takes place throughout the novel. Like God, the color purple, represented nature. It stands for all the beauty that nature beholds and one of the unrecognized truths Celie had yet to understand. Celie had no idea of what the color purple was in the beginning. She lived life only to get to the next day.
It was not until Shug came into her life that she gets a sense of the color purple. Then she is able to liberate herself from the control of her husband and move forward in life.
I give it to him straight, just like it come to me. Once wounded, she is now a warrior. Unrecognized, the color purple was the main idea of the story carried forward, hence its name. Later on in the novel once Celie is living her life freely without the strong hand of men, she begins to make pants. Gaining a sense of actuality, beauty, and confidence in herself, Celie wears the pants as well as making them.
The pants symbolized how Celie overcame the sexism she always was subjugated to. Since pants, culturally was a male article of clothing in the early s, wearing and producing them gave Celie a sense of power she never felt before.
The idea that men wore the pants was no longer a belief of Celie and it proves true in the novel. She no longer felt oppressed and afraid emotionally or economically. Her clothing business consisting of only pants was one of the starting blocks in her life that she was not afraid of men and she did not need them to support her emotionally or financially either. Therefore, pants being symbolic of manhood in many ways, making them was liberating for Celie. God was also a symbol, not just the color purple and pants.
Writing to God is what kept Celie life moving. Her letters to God were an indication that she was still alive and sane. Furthermore, the letters added to the verisimilitude of the novel. The Color Purple expresses the theme that everyone has a story to tell.
Going more in depth, the plot of the story helps enlighten readers on all the themes discussed in the previous paragraphs. Setting, structure, diction, and dialect serve the purpose of verisimilitude for Walker. She uses them to create realism and credibility for her readers. Although criticized for her portrayal of African American men, the novel is still to this day a classic. Yet, it remains a best seller. Accessed September 14, Walker, I recently read your novel The Color Purple as part of a social justice curriculum at my school.
I felt compelled to take the time to tell you what a profound honor it was to read your book. I am so grateful to both you and my teachers for giving me the opportunity to experience something that in all likelihood I would never have had the privilege of experiencing otherwise. I am currently in a humanities program at my school that allows me to have many experiences such as reading your book. We read The Color Purple as part of a unit on gender and sexuality issues from a social justice perspective.
These issues were very poignant throughout the duration of the novel and your portrayal of them, along with your portrayal of many other issues was absolutely beautiful to me. However, in particular what were most beautiful to me were your portrayals of the definition of family and as an extension of that, the idea of couples becoming trinities. The way your characters illustrated both of these ideas was new to me; instead of feeling fear and apprehension when faced with the new ideas, I quickly felt that the ideas were comfortable, familiar, and ingenious.
At the opening of the novel I saw many examples of the importance of the traditional family unit in America. Celie is forced to marry Mr. After reading the letters containing this information I was expecting a story of the typical family unit.
I was not expecting the type of family that is ultimately glorified in the book. My understanding that the family that I would ultimately see in the book would not be a conventional one came with the realization that attitudes towards women in the novel caused men to sleep with several different women.
When I say attitudes towards women, I mean the commonly held beliefs that women do not need to be respected, are easily replaceable, and are essentially property. The result of the aforementioned promiscuity is that men have children from different mothers all over the place.
It is difficult to establish the traditional two parent, two kid family when there are several different mothers and children involved. Sometimes, as was the case with Mr. He will often have children by both the first, second, and possibility third wife as Alfonso did. The result of the behavior of both the men and women is a large group of individuals composed of husbands, wives, lovers, ex-husbands, ex-wives, ex-lovers, still married individuals who have gone off with someone else, and all of their various children.
This situation would not normally be very intriguing to me if not for the fact that all of these people are able to come together and truly be a family. The first time I realized that there was something special about the relationship between all of the characters collectively that made them a family was when Sofia was arrested. Everyone pulled together to try and get Sofia out of prison and it was an amazing display of support and closeness. Initially I believed that the reason all of the Black characters pulled together was because it was an issue of Black versus White.
Although I know this was a factor, there were multiple relationships that resulted in the communal love that everyone exhibited towards Sofia throughout the book. This love was most surprising coming from Squeak. When Sofia is imprisoned, Squeak volunteers to talk to the warden, her uncle, and ultimately allows herself to be raped by him in an attempt to get her out. However, Squeak learns to love Sofia because Harpo really loves Sofia.
In addition to her loyalty to Harpo, Squeak is a representative of the unconventional family that has formed and she is playing her role in that family. When Celie, Shug, the prizefighter, Mr. Sofia left Harpo and Mr. When these two individuals in particular showed concern for Sofia it showed me that in this novel the power of the family unit can sometimes transcend the need for male domination. Celie and Nettie are blood relatives, sisters, but Mr. Sofia was once his daughter-in-law, but Sofia has effectively terminated that relationship by walking out on Harpo which should enrage Mr.
There should be no relationship between Sofia and Mr. The feelings of respect and possibly concern that Mr. This makes her more of a member of the family in Mr.
The saga of Sofia continues when Sofia is let out of prison in order to work for Miss Millie and is unable to raise her children. There is no strict definition of who is the mother and who is the father because that is no what defines a family of this group of individuals. Wherever there is love and care there is family. Whoever raises the child is the mama and if this means that there is more than one mother, then so be it. This is the second time Squeak comes through for Sofia and we see that the initial animosity of their meeting is a relic of the past.
Due to their initial connection through Harpo they have come to have their own connection which far surpasses the one that either of them may have with Harpo. The true culmination of the relationship comes when Squeak decides she needs to sing and in order to do that she must go to Memphis. It was very difficult for me to wrap my mind around the concept of two women who love the same man and both gave birth to his children wanting to have anything to do with one another.
They had the type of genuine feelings for each other that I would only expect from sisters. He accepts Sofia back with open arms after she has left him for the prizefighter.
Free Color Purple Essays: Recognition and Equality in The Color Purple - Recognition and Equality in The Color Purple The book, The Color Purple, by Alice Walker is a good example on how over the years women have been making remarkable strides towards achieving success, recognition and equality.
The Color Purple won the American Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize in fiction in Alice Walker’s novel is unique in its preoccupation with spiritual survival and with exploring the oppressions, insanities, loyalties, and triumphs of black women.
The Color Purple Essay. BACK; NEXT ; Writer’s block can be painful, but we’ll help get you over the hump and build a great outline for your paper. Essays for The Color Purple. The Color Purple is an epistolary novel by Alice Walker. The Color Purple literature essays are academic essays for citation. These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of .
Key words: symbolic significance, the color purple, Alice Walker. Colors can express emotions and feelings, so that writers tend to use color to modeling features of the characters. So is Alice Walker. She uses different colors to express different emotions of the main character Celie in the book The Color Purple. Uniting People in The Color Purple Red, a color of hatred, a color of anger, a color of oppression. Purple, a color of pride, a color of love, a color of triumph. The clashing of colors, and the uniting of a people.