Themes In Alice Walker's The Color Purple

Satisfactory Essays
They are implicit concepts around which imaginary works of literature revolve. The dominant themes of The Color Purple are female assertiveness, female narrative voice, female relationships, and violence. Female assertiveness is Walker’s way of delimiting women’s space. She liberates Sofia’s from submissiveness, making her a mouthy free spirit, a challenge to a powerful system. Shug is an adventuresome blue singer with fine taste and without limits on her sexual preferences. Nettie, too asserts herself by escaping her stepfather’s house rather than succumbing to his unwanted advances. Her escape take her all the way to Africa.

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Powerful Essays

    The Color Purple Analysis

    • 1871 Words
    • 8 Pages

    Throughout The Color Purple, and Memoirs of a Geisha, Alice Walker and Arthur Golden respectively present the struggle individuals face to establish self-empowerment within oppressive societies. Both authors explore the degrading effects that marital relationships have on individuals by setting their texts in a society where mostly everyone conforms to the presented social expectations that women cannot depend on themselves. It is also made apparent by Walker and Golden that due to gender stereotypes, characters both female and male continuously contend with themselves to be empowered. However, towards the denouement of the texts, Walker shows that due to adopting a positive mindset Celie is able to achieve individuality whereas Golden suggests…

    • 1871 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Being a woman and black in the south during a period of brutal discrimination and lack of civil rights worked to bring down the characters in The Color Purple.Overall, the novel depicts hidebound ideals of gender roles in respect to their position in society. The effects of the discrimination by sex is further enhanced by the ethnicity of the characters in the novel; which, goes hand in hand with their economic status. The characters of the novel where at the bottom of the social ladder; which, contributed to the behavior and problems between marriages and different races. The Color Purple is marinated in prejudice due to sex and ethnic origin which contributes to their position in society but as the story developed, many are able to break…

    • 332 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Good Essays

    The color purple demonstrates the feminist struggle one woman over comes. Limitations placed for not only being a woman but being an African American woman enhance the severity of Celie’s battles against society. Celine faces multiple demeaning challenges that cause her to become very passive around others. She was raped at least twice by her own father, and had two children which were stripped from her arms and sold at a very youthful age. Celine later is raped again by her husband who her father forced her to go away with. But Celie's bond with her sister is the one inseparable relationship that motivates her to persevere. Rape and abuse by men is ignored during the time period of the 1920’s. It is embedded into the minds of women that it is an acceptable action. A woman who denies a man of his needs is punished, which explains why Celie does not remove herself from the situations. Celie also encounters a few women, Sofia and Shug Avery, who challenge the mainstream role of women in society.The setting and time period during which the story takes place explain why individuals had the mindset they did.The reactions to women experiencing domestic abuse in 1922 would be outrageous to a person living…

    • 381 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    The black community has their own cycle of violence that we can relate to the characters and relationships in The Color Purple. Black Southerners formed their own small community in the white dominated society but they still destroyed themselves from within this community by abusing and hurting their women. Women living in this black community got mentally, physically, and sexually abused by their fathers, husbands, and other men. While this behavior remains very inappropriate and wrong, the women felt nothing could stop the men from their horrible actions. Sofia and Celie, two main characters in The Color Purple, had experienced pain and harm, especially by their husbands. Having a father who sexually and physically beat her, Celie had never had an easy life. Celie explains her incidents with her father in her diary, “He never had a kine word to say to me. Just say You gonna do what your mammy wouldn’t.” (Page 1). From then on, things only continued to get worse and Celie soon began getting beat and sexually abused by her new husband, Mr. _____. Celie viewed these actions as the normal part of life and better than death. Celie explains to Mr. ____’s sisters, “I don’t fight, I stay where I’m told. But I’m alive.” (Page 22) Mr. _____’s son, Harpo, also physically beats his wife, Sofia. Sofia won’t take this kind of harm though. She decides to fight back and stand up for her rights. This worked out for her with Harpo…

    • 837 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    From reading the extract from The Color Purple, the reader is shocked almost straight away from how the character/narrator (who in this case is the author Alice Walker) is treated and brought up by her father.…

    • 545 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Men feel the need to incite a sense of dominance over submissive women. Alice Walker utilises Albert and Harpo to depict abusive and indecisive qualities displayed by men in her highly acclaimed novel, The Color Purple.…

    • 673 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    In The Color Purple, Alice Walker writes of a predominantly sexist setting through the frequent beating of women, the stereotypes cast upon people, and the thoughts and feelings of the Olinka peoples. The author writes about the common and frequent beating of Celie by her father as discipline and of Mr. _____ to present a sexist setting. To show the predominantly sexist setting, Alice Walker includes the stereotypes cast upon people such as Celie's wearing and making of pants and Mr. _____'s sewing. The writer includes the thoughts and feelings of the Olinka people through their not educating females and their thought of a woman's ideal role.…

    • 599 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    The novel The Color Purple, by Alice Walker is a story about the struggle and the transformation of the protagonist Celie from a shy little girl that never stood up for herself who later on in her life developed into a strong confident and independent woman. Her awakening is due in large parts to the many female figures she met throughout her life. These figures are her sister Nettie, Mr.____'s sister Kate, Harpo's wife Sofia, and the singer Shug Avery.…

    • 2720 Words
    • 11 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Better Essays

    Somebody once said, “In literature, evil often triumphs but never conquers”. Both The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold and The Color Purple by Alice Walker prove this quote true. Throughout The Lovely Bones, a family struggles with the dreadful murder and rape of a family member. The book demonstrates how the family only got stronger with the passage of time. Their success in moving forward in life regardless of their encounter with such an evil act emphasizes the victory of good over evil. In addition to The Lovely Bones, the book The Color Purple clearly displays the brutality two sisters must constantly face by being physically and sexually abused by their father. The quote is verified as truth in this book as well because…

    • 1184 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Better Essays

    Alice Walker very cleverly uses literary devices to emphasize the morals in her story. The setting, symbolism, tone, and point of view of the story all help the reader clearly understand and somewhat relate to the life that Celie is living.…

    • 1484 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Better Essays

    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…

    • 2747 Words
    • 11 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    "Cultivating Black Lesbian Shamelessness: Alice Walker 's The Color Purple." Literary Points of View . N.p., n.d. Web. 5 Nov. 2013. .…

    • 535 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Better Essays

    Some critics consider the portrayal of Black men “The Color Purple as unnecessarily harsh and brutal. Examine the depiction of the Black male in Walker’s novel.…

    • 2297 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    In The Color Purple, Alice Walker illustrates the lives of a female African American before the Civil Rights Movement. A novel that describes female empowerment, The Color Purple demonstrates the domestic violence women faced in the South. Walker tells the story through Celie, a young African American girl who faces constant hardships until she stands up for herself with the help of her closest friends – other women undergoing the same difficulties. Even though men controlled females in the South, the author emphasizes the strength of female empowerment because females struggled to survive during this time.…

    • 2726 Words
    • 11 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    In the literary works, The Color Purple, Woman Hollering Creek, and Seventeen Syllables, the characters of Nettie, Cleófilas, and Mrs. Hayashi experience similar impediments via patriarchal dominance in their cultures that limit their ability to move outside restrictive gender roles. In The Color Purple, Nettie, an educated black woman from the south, who travels to Africa to become a missionary, highlights the sexual oppression that links African Americans and the African Olinka. The two worlds share a legacy of white patriarchal domination over black bodies, which in turn impose further devaluation of black female bodies as sexual objects for male pleasure and control. In Woman Hollering Creek, Cleófilas endures the potency of her Latino…

    • 309 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays