The role and mode of “God”
The role and mode of God changes throughout the book The Color Purple as Celie develops as a result of different experiences. From her conversation with Shug her whole view of God changes and so do her feelings about what she can do. From a young age Celie has written to God and she believes that he has been listening. Celie confesses to both Shug and Nettie that she has stopped writing to God. She says “Anyhow, I say, the God I been praying and writing to is a man. And act just like all the other mens I know. Trifling, forgetful and lowdown.” Celie is finally fed up with God for being a distant figure that does not listen to her concerns and more importantly a man that is solidifying to seem like all the men that she had associated herself with her whole life. She asks, “What God do for me?” Like the rest of the men in Celie’s life, God has left her feeling small and unworthy. Shug tries to get Celie to reimagine God, not as the archetypal old bearded white man, but as an “it” who delights in all creation. Celie’s love and admiration for Shug allows Celie to accept this new idea. Celie has never before though of this and the idea that God has no race or gender sets her free to create her own concept of God. Celie’s acceptance that she can choose her own concept of God is an important step in her transition to the self-accepting woman that is seen in the rest of the book. She no longer has to blindly accept an image of God. This newfound strength allows her to access her full potential and stand up for what she believes.
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