The Color purple essay- Book reviews
Essay • December 9, 2010
The Color purple essays
An African American author Alice Walker wrote the novel “The Color Purple” in 1982. It won the Pulitzer price for fiction. It gained wide publicity after the famous movie director Stephen Spielberg made a period drama film based on it, starring Whoopi Goldberg, Oprah Winfrey and Danny Glover.
The stage setting is the early decades of the twentieth century. The main character is Celie, a timid and much abused African American girl from Georgia. The narrative is in “epistolary style”, that is in the form of letters and diary entries. Throughout the novel Alice walker uses colloquial African American language of Georgia spiced further by choice four letter words and expletives.
The plot is the omniscient story of success after travails, hardships, injustice and neglect. It is a saga of success despite adversity through the victims’ grit and determination. “The Color purple essay” can dwell at length on all these things.
Abused and raped by her own father, Celie’s illegitimate offspring are also hidden by him. Her forced marriage to one Mr.______ does in no way mitigate her sufferings. She toils thanklessly both before and after marriage. Her sister Nettie fares no better when she seeks refuge with Celie after their mother’s demise. She escapes the cruel Mr.___ and goes to work as a housemaid in one Reverend Samuel’s family. The reverend goes to Africa for missionary work and Nettie accompanies the family. Unknown to Celie and Nettie, the reverend has been raising Celie’s two illegitimate children.
Submissive Celie is unable to fight and pours her heart into her letters to God. Mr.___ hides Nettie’s letters to Celie from Africa. The story is told through these letters. The crux of “The Color purple essays” is the understanding of the occult meaning of this communication.
Finally Celie sets up a successful apparel business in Tennessee. She is reunited with her children and develops a new perspective of God. There are by-lanes in the plot that traverse through similar stories of one Shug, a singer with whom Mr.___ has been having an illicit affair and one Amazonian Sofia, Mr.___’s daughter in law. Again everything ends well.
- Alice Walker is an ardent Women’s Libber, author, poet and a strident Civil Rights activist. Her adventures with Code Pink, an all women anti war group are well known. Her CV can be juxtaposed with her work to produce very good “The color purple essays”.
- Her portrayal of African American women as victims of exploitation, abuse and marginalization by both their own society and the others can be debated either way in good argumentative essays.
- She portrays social evils depicting violence, sexual aberrations and other malaise in all their gory details often using obscene language. Some justify this approach as epitome of realism and some call it as wanton cynicism. You can say what you want in your “The color purple essay”.
Written by Valeria Gorner
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