The Color Purple

Topics: The Color Purple, Alice Walker, African American Pages: 7 (2775 words) Published: September 3, 2013
What’s Black, White, and The Color Purple?

“First he put his thing up against my hip and sort of wiggle it around. Then he grab hold my titties. Then he push his thing inside my pussy. When that hurt, I cry. He start to choke me, saying You better shut up and get used to it.”(Walker 1). If you as a parent took The Color Purple off the shelves and just opened the book you would begin by reading the quote above. As a parent who just opens the book and reads the first two pages, already, based on a snap judgment do not want their child to read this Pulitzer Prize winning novel by Alice Walker. However, The Color Purple should not be banned. The novel writes of many current issues needed to be addressed in this day and age.

Many issues concerning The Color Purple consist of abuse, rape, explicit sexual content, human sexuality, profanity, racism, etc.; the list goes on. Abuse was a big part of this novel, as it was seen throughout the entire novel starting from the very first page of the novel. It was mostly seen through both sexual and emotional abuse, seen mostly towards the main character of the book, Celie. In Texas during 1996 The Color Purple was “retained on the Round Rock Independent High School reading list after a challenge that the book was too violent” (Doyle). This can be seen all throughout the book: “Kilt it out there in the woods. Kill this one too, if he can,” (Walker 2) and “She ball up her fists, draw back, and knock two of Squeaks side teef out. Squeak hit the floor. One toof hanging on her lip, the other one upside my cold drink glass,” (Walker 84). Many people argue that quotes such as these are too violent to be in a classroom setting stating that this type of literature can cause the students to take up these types of violent acts. Numerous quotes of the book display inferences of rape and incest as well: “He beat me for dressing trampy but he do it to me anyway,” (Walker 7). Numerous people consider The Color

Purple inappropriate for certain age groups, therefore has been banned in countless schools across the country.
It is understandable that the book has a lot of explicit content that may not be appropriate for certain age groups but people should not be told what they can and cannot read. The book consists of sexual and emotional abuse which can be seen throughout the entire world. There were mentions of wife-beating and fighting, but it is not in great detail or glorified. These types of issues need to addressed in a safe environment for the younger generations to understand these concepts and the hardships of dealing with these problems to prevent these types of situations in the real world from occurring. Perhaps junior high the kids aren’t as developed in a mature sense yet, but high school students have that mental capacity to fully understand, comprehend, and empathize with these kinds of real world catastrophes. Unfortunately abuse is all too common through the whole of the world. During the course of this book, Celie, the main character, is able to step out of the constraints of her fear and step up to the perpetrator of her abuse, her husband Mr. _______, later established as Albert. Through gaining self-confidence Celie was competent in that she could face her problems head on and overcome them. This may teach students that hiding from their fears may just cause more agony. Walker had developed Celie’s character into a strong independent woman who didn’t need the comfort or approval of a man by her side, showcasing feminism in her novel.

Feminism and lesbianism had been a big part of why The Color Purple had been banned. In North Carolina during the year 2008, one of the more recent banning, this novel was “challenged in Burke County schools in Morgantown by parents concerned about the

homosexuality, rape, and incest portrayed in the book,” (Doyle). “All the men got they eyes glued to Shug’s bosom. I got my eyes glued there too,” (Walker 82)....

Cited: Brantley, Mary. "The Color Purple 8." Masterplots II: African American Literature, Revised Edition. N.p.: n.p., n.d. N. pag. EBSCO eBook Collection. Web. 27 Feb. 2013. <>.
"The Color Purple." NCTE. NCTE, 1998. Web. 25 Mar. 2013. <>.
Doyle, Robert P. Challenging Our Freedom to Read. Chicago: American Library Association, 2010. Print.
Foerstel, Herbery N. Banned in the U.S.A. Westport: Greenwood Publishing Group, 1994. Print.
Intellectual Freedom Committee, comp. Hit Lilst: Frequently Challenged Young Adult Titles. N.p.: ALA 's Young Adult Services Division, 1989. Print.
Slomski, Genevieve. "The Color Purple." Masterplots. 4th ed. N.p.: n.p., n.d. N. pag. EBSCO eBook Collection. Web. 27 Feb. 2013. <>.
Walker, Alice. The Color Purple. Orlando: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, [1982?]. Print.
Worthington, Pepper. Writing a Rationale for a Controversial Common Reading Book: Alice Walker 's the Color Purple. N.p.: NCTE, 1985. Print.
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