The Color Purple

This essay has a total of 889 words and 4 pages.

The Color Purple



The Color Purple by Alice Walker is a very controversial novel, which many people found to
be very offensive. It is basically the struggle for one woman's independence. The main
character in The Color Purple is Celie a coloured woman with little or no education at
all. She is one who has been used and abused by all the men in her life, and because of
these men, she has very little courage or ambition in her life. She has so little courage,
that all she wants to do is just survive. Through the various women she meets throughout
here life like: Shug, her sister, and Harpo's wife, she learns how to enjoy herself, gain
courage and happiness. She finally learns enough and with the final straw she could no
longer bare, she leaves her husband and becomes an independent happy woman.

Celie was an abused woman from all the men in her life. She was abused and raped by her
stepfather and then by her own husband. This abusiveness took away all of Celie's
ambitions and drove her into a state of fear. That is why she refers to these men only
known as Mister, for she had lost her feelings. She feared them so much that she would
always do whatever she was told without hesitation, because she was fearful of being
beaten. The first evidence comes from the opening line of the novel, You better not never
tell nobody but God… (P.11). That is why all her letters open with Dear God, because she
fears what will happen to her if she does tell anyone. And it is because of these men,
that she has very little courage or ambition, for they took the fight or will out of her.

One of the most important women that Celie meets in her life is Shug Avery. Shug Avery is
not only a friend to Celie but also a lover. It is by being a lover that Celie learns
self-respect and a little happiness in her life. Like when Shug Avery showed Celie how to
enjoy herself. Listen she say, right down there in your … is a little button that gits
real hot when you do you know what with somebody. It get hotter and hotter and then it
melt. That the good part. But other parts good too, she say… (P. 79). I found this real
important as it showed Celie she can enjoy herself and there is more to her then just
being a slave to Mister.

Another important woman in Celie's life was Harpo's wife Sofia. Sofia wasn't as important
to Celie as Shug Avery or her sister Nettie, but it was Sofia's actions that I believe
helped inspire Celie. For when Harpo tried to beat Sofia, thanks to Celie's advice to
Harpo to beat his wife, Sofia would always fight back. Not only emotionally but physically
as well, for one day when Celie was going to Harpo's house she saw Harpo and Sofia
fighting like twos mens (P. 44). And I think Celie was really shocked when Sofia
confronted her on why Celie told Harpo to beat Sofia. I say it cause I'm a fool, I say it
cause I'm jealous of you. I say it cause you do what I can't. What that? She say. Fight I
say. … She say all my life I had to fight. I had to fight my daddy. I had to fight my
brothers … cousins … uncles. A girl child ain't safe in a family of men. But I never
thought I'd have to fight in my own house (P. 46). I believe this really helped open
Celie's eyes. For she was not the only one who grew up like her, except Sofia didn't let
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