The Color Purple
By Alice Walker
The intensively descriptive novel, The Color Purple is about Celie, a poor uneducated woman born in the early 1900’s, unselfishly surviving the social injustices of those times. As the novel unfolds, Celie experiences so much sorrow, that she is forced to grow up quickly and learn to appreciate the little that life has to offer her. As new people enter her life, she is encouraged to look at life differently and she discovers that she too can have a chance to laugh and love. The themes Alice Walker tries to convey are the reoccurring themes of learning, love and happiness. Understanding the themes allowed me to find the novel fulfilling, well thought out and suitable for young adults, for throughout Celie’s life, she connected with several people who touched heart and showed her the meaning of joy. During her life, she had three strong teachers: Nettie, Sophia and Shug Avery. Celie’s first joy was definitely Nettie, her younger sister. From early childhood, they shared the same fears and hope. Nettie taught Celie how to hope from a very young age. This was Celie’s first step to happiness. One instance was Nettie’s persistence in teaching Celie how to read. Nettie constantly pushed her to keep trying and always left her with a positive attitude. “Celie, you smart too.”, Nettie would tell her, and slowly but surely, Celie did learn to read. Nettie shared her intelligence but could not improve Celie’s soft-spoken and weak personality. Sofia, Celie’s step daughter in law, on the other hand was a very strong woman, both physically and mentally. She had a naturally overbearing personality from the first time her character was introduced. Her self-confidence and certainty not only helped her improve the sexist ways of her time, but made Celie realize that she too, could gain control and change the horrible way she was treated by her husband. A prime example of a time where she inspired Celie was when Celie was in the field and Harpo,...
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