The Color Purple by Alice Walker: Character Analysis of Shug Avery

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  • Topic: Woman
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  • Published : April 25, 2012
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Jinger Sandhu
Rotramel 2
Book Essay
1992
Every story has characters that have their own roles of keeping the story going. In “The Color Purple” by Alice Walker, one particular character goes beyond playing their part. Shug Avery. Shug Avery herself is a symbol throughout the story, though not the main character she works behind the scenes at adding more to the story. Shug serves as a symbol of a better life in the black community in which the book is based. Though the story seemingly goes on as a flow, there are stops and goes when Shug enters the scene. Shug Avery leaves an impression on every other character. She functions as a bold flower in a dim background in the story that slowly relates and combines with what is in the background. Shug changes lives with her boldness and promotes freedom that she believes everyone deserves.

Easing into the beginning of the story, Shug is used as a bold feature in a blunt background. At the start of the story the reader falls into the normalcy of the way of life and a woman always being controlled by man. Once Shug steps in however, she brings along a major contrast. Once the reader compares the differences, then the story has more of a feeling to it because there is something to compare the formal characters’ lives to. Shug is rich, a free woman and never takes orders from a man if she does not want to. In addition she is blunt, does as she pleases and sings with tight expensive clothes in public. Compared to what ‘dim background’ folk, Shug was just too special, lucky and good. Shug herself certainly felt that way. In the beginning when she arrives to live with Cecile and Mr. _ , Cecile writes, “She look so stylish it like the trees all round the house draw themselves up tall for a better look (45)”. Clearly Shug stood out and wore much more extravagant clothes than Cecile was used to seeing. Shug was definitely bringing difference and change to the house. She was very assure of herself and wanted only the best....
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