The Color Purple by Alice Walker Summary, Main Idea, Conflict, Point of View, Setting and Tone.

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“The Color Purple” by Alice Walker is a series a letters by and to the main character, Celie. The book begins with fourteen year old Celie writing to God about her father raping her and taking away her children. After Celie's mother dies, Celie focuses on protecting her sister, Nettie, from her father's sexual advances and encourages her to run away. A widower called “Mr. __” wants to marry Nettie, but their father rejects him. Eventually Celie marries Mr. __, who later is called Albert, and her living conditions do not improve at all. Celie becomes infatuated with Shug Avery, a blues singer who is her husband's mistress. Years later, Celie helps nurse Shug back to health. Eventually, they fall in love with each other. Meanwhile, Nettie has become a missionary in Africa and has written many letters to Celie, all of which Albert has hidden from her. Celie acquires the letters and discovers that her own two children are alive and living with a missionary couple with whom Nettie works. She also discovers that her father is actually her stepfather and not a blood relative. Nettie's letters help Celie grow stronger and more self-assured. That confidence soon turns to fury and discontent with God over the abuse she has endured throughout her life. Celie begins writing to Nettie instead of God, when she starts becoming “blasphemous” (192). Eventually, Celie leaves Albert and moves to Memphis with Shug. There, Celie starts a business making pants. After inheriting the house from her mother and real father, Celie returns home. She visits Albert, who is a very changed man, and they develop a relationship of respect. Nettie, still in Africa, marries the now-widowed Reverend who had adopted her sister's children. At the novel's end, the two sisters are reunited. The main idea of the novel suggests that the struggle of finding one’s voice, self-discovery and relationship with God is a complicated journey that can take a lifetime. Throughout the Novel, the main character,...
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