English 9 Honors
4 April 2013
March Challenge Essay
“Greatness lies not in being strong, but in the right using of strength….” This quote by Henry Ward Beecher means that in order to be great, you do not need to be powerful; you just need to know how to use your power appropriately. I agree with this quote because most people that are great are not the strongest. Instead they use what they have to become great. The quote can be seen in The Color Purple by Alice Walker.
In The Color Purple, the protagonist Celie lives through a lot of conflict. For most of her life, she has been beaten by her stepfather and Mr.____. Her stepfather would beat her “cause he say I winked at a boy in church.” (Walker 5) Mr.____ would beat Celie for no reason at all sometimes. When his son asked him why he beat Celie, he would say “Cause she my wife. Plus, she stubborn.” (Walker 22) Since Celie had to grow up being beaten by these men and acting like their slave, she decided that she hated men. Instead she liked Shug, a famous singer, and they became really great friends. Shug helped her get away from Mr.____. This connects to the lens because at first Celie was not strong at all, but when she went with Shug to Tennessee, she gained confidence and started her own business sewing pants.
Throughout the book, there has also been a theme of sexism. When Celie is living with Mr.____ and his family, she gets treated poorly and has to do all the work because she is a woman. When Harpo is grown up enough to start working, he refuses to do any because he thinks it is “Women work. I’m a man.” (Walker 21) Harpo marries Sofia later on in the book and wants to make her like Celie so she will do anything that he says. Mr.____ tells Harpo that “Wives is like children. You have to let ‘em know who got the upper hand. Nothing can do that better than a good sound beating.” (Walker 35) Near the end of the book when Mr.____ starts to work and...