The Color Purple was published in 1982, and became the work that propelled Alice Walker into the position of one of the best known contemporary African-American writers. It was a success with both critics and the reading public, and it earned Walker the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1983.
The Color Purple is a 1982 epistolary novel by American author Alice Walker that won the 1983 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the National Book Award for Fiction. The title draws attention to the importance of colour in this brilliant novel and how brighter colours are linked to the experience of liberation that characters achieve at various points The color purple plays a very important part in the life of the main character Celie. When Celie is allowed to choose a new dress for the first time in her life, she chooses a purple dress. The room that she owns in a house, is all purple. And when Celie's friend Shug explains how important it is to free yourself from traditional male and white domination and be able to enjoy life, she says: "I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don't notice it."
The novel deals with the struggle, both in America and in Africa, of women to gain recognition as individuals who deserve fair and equal treatment. Male dominance is the norm in both countries. As Albert says "Men s'pose to wear the pants". It takes various forms, not least of which is sexual aggression. In the very first letter, Celie tells of the abuse she suffers at the hands of the man she believes for a long time is her father. Mary Agnes is raped by the white uncle whom she approaches for help to get Sofia out of prison and Mr (Albert) also tries to force Nettie to submit to him before she leaves the house after fighting him off. Celie's sexual encounters with her husband, Mr- are sordid and unloving "Just do his business, get off, go to sleep" As Shug remarks, Celie "make it sound like he going to the toilet on you." Physical violence...
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