The Power of a Female Relationship in the Color Purple

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English 102.013

The Power of a Female Relationship
In the book The Color Purple, Alice Walker shows us different themes in the book. The one theme that stood out the most was the relationship between the sisters and friends that met along the way. Reading this book I have seen different types of relationships such as, motherly, sisterly, and also womanly. Walker refers to the relationship between Cecile and Nettie as a motherly relationship because when Cecile’s mother dies she feels that she has to step in and take care of what her mother did. Therefore; when Celie was pregnant Nettie was always there for her even when her father took Celie’s kids away. In the article The Parent Trap they used the fatherly role so it still fits the same way if it was a mother. This article says “regardless of age or gender the oldest child is responsible for playing the role of a mother/farther”. For example the child in the article was an 8 year old boy who had to take the role of his father, because the father had left them. So in his mind he was the Man of the house and had to look over his siblings and also help his mom out. However, Walker shows us a similar instance with Celie; she was only 15 when her mother passed away, therefore; she had to take upon the role of the mother now which was to cook, clean, and take care of her siblings/ children. “Especially important for the formulation of Walker’s political themes are the novel’s portrayals of the dyadic female bonds that Celie forms with Nettie, Shug, and Sofia. They lead not only to Celies personal growth but also to the formation of a female solidarity network. It is this network of female friends that wages a strong challenge to racist patriarchal domination. It offers the sexually and racially oppressed woman an alternative to basing her identity solely on her familial relationships and provides the support she needs to take action against abuse and discrimination.” ( Hollinger, 1998, Pg 179)

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