Comparative Essay; to Kill a Mockingbird and the Colour Purple

Topics: The Color Purple, To Kill a Mockingbird, Pulitzer Prize for Fiction Pages: 10 (3826 words) Published: June 5, 2011
One Will Take What He Is Given

The purpose of Alice Walker’s novel The Color Purple and Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird is to demonstrate the hardships that are met when ignorance and tradition bring about the influence of sexism, racism and genuine prejudice to the general public. Ignorance is the root cause of prejudice as it prevents one to see beauty, so when it comes to dealing with the discriminating behavior held in this social order, the vast majority of people are judged by the label and stereotype society has given them, not by the kind of person they are inside. Nevertheless, through these corrupt societies, the protagonists are able to experience incredible journeys of courage, growth and love. Bravery and love is crucial in both novels in order for the protagonists to break through their limiting boundaries and stand up for what they believe. Bravery in both is also essential for fighting against discrimination and when both protagonists transcend from innocence to experience, they becomes more aware of the harsh realities of prejudice and ignorance projected in the world. Through proper guidance, they come to understand what genuine evil is and what is simply given the label of being evil. Love is demonstrated to be capable of conquering the ignorance and courage opposes the notion of being disregarded. For instance, Scout comes to love Boo, conquering the ignorance that Maycomb has projected into her mind and Celie comes to fall in love as well as idolize Shug for her dominant ways, freeing herself from becoming indulged furthermore with the ignorance her surrounding present to her. The characters in both novels begin to use their certain dominance and authority in order to take matters under their own wings; in means of attempting to speak up for what their moral claims to be right. By elaborating on the epic journeys that the characters from both novels venture on, I intend to prove how the two corrupt societies are fueled by ignorance and tradition, as well as how characters from both novels fight against this through love, courage and growth. Ignorance prevents people to see the very beauty and innocence of things that are given a superficial label, however this ignorance is challenged by characters in order to prove stereotypes wrong. Love is capable of conquering the ignorance that some see and courage helps shed light to what is in need of being seen. In a sense, ignorance sways the “killing of Mockingbirds” (To Kill a Mockingbird pg 93) and the disregard for “the color purple in a field somewhere”. (The Color Purple, pg 196).

In Alice Walker’s The Color Purple, the literal color itself symbolizes beauty, since Celie uses this word to describe the beauty of the things in this world. When Celie begins to name some of God’s creations that she never appreciated before, she acknowledges her own ignorance when she realizes she never admired the allure of anything around her. When she chooses to use purple as an example of extraordinary establishment, it shows that purple is patriarchal and dominant when compared to other colors. “I never truly notice nothing God make. Not a blade of corn (how it do that) not the color purple (where it come from?). Not the wildflowers. Nothing.” (The Color Purple pg 197) If compared to its brothers and sisters, purple is considered to be the most beautiful, astounding and unique of all colors. Shug believes Celie is very much similar to this color. When she states "I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don't notice it" (Walker 203), she is implying that the purple she is talking about is a euphemism for Celie. The purple represents Celie’s beauty and even though she is this gracious color, people around her don't seem to notice, they simply treat her dreadfully. Due to this immense negligence, she lives an agonizing life where she is constantly abused both verbally and physically by the very men that a woman...
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