The color purple Alice Walker. Born February 1944 in Georgia African-American as well as Cherokee, Scottish and Irish lineage The 8 th child of poor sharecroppers. Early Life. In 1952, when she was 8 years old, she got shot in the eye with a BB gun. She lost the sight in her right eye.
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Her first book of poems came out in 1968 and her first novel just after her daughter's birth in 1970.
Criticized for writing about these struggles. Embattled by racism, many black critics and citizens have denounced her for calling attention to the internalized racism that feeds sexism in black families.
“I think we have to own the fears that we have of each other, and then, in some practical way, some daily way, figure out how to see people differently than the way we were brought up to.”
Walker’s portrayal of a double repression of black women in the American Experience. The author believes that black women suffer from discrimination by the whites and from black males who impose the double standard.Historical Significance
The story is about an uneducated black woman named Celie in the rural part of southern Georgia in the 1930s. She is close to her sister, Nettie, who is a missionary in Africa and corresponds with her. It is her letters over 20 years that tell her story. The novel itself is formatted as letters addressed first to God and then later to her sister.Synopsis
At the age of 14, she is abused and raped by her father. She has two children from this abuse which are taken away and she believes have been murdered by her father.
Her abuse continues with her marriage to a man she refers to as Mister.
She tries to protect her sister Nettie from suffering the fate she experienced with their father.
Nettie leaves home and tries to find sanctuary with Celie but it’s not safe with Mister. She convinces her to go to the local Pastor for help. He arranges Nettie to leave for missionary work, and Nettie promises to write all the time.
As time passes, no letters arrive and she believes her sister is dead. But her husband has been keeping the letters from her.
The story unfolds with Celie standing up for herself and fighting for her freedom and dignity.
Educated and independent of all men.
Nettie never judges her personal worth in relation to men.Nettie
Shug is the person who lifts Celie up and gives her the will to leave behind a life of victimhood and become a new woman.Shug Avery
Endurance with an underlying sense of wonder and hope.
Despite the horrendous existence that Celie (protagonist) lives under ( the oppression of poverty, sexism, and racism), she maintains a sense of her own dignity, and when she is given the opportunity, she opens her heart fully to love.
ViolenceBlack female characters in the book tend to be victims of violence. Men tend to attempt to exert their dominance over women, especially their wives. Celie suffers repeated violence from her father and husband and reacts by shutting down emotionally and being submissive.
Shug says that she believes that “it angers God if a person walks by the color of purple in a field without stopping to notice and admire it.”
In this statement, Shug summarizes her religious philosophy; to her, God is not some distant deity living on high, but a genderless, raceless being that wants people to appreciate and enjoy life. It is also significant that she chose the color of purple, for it is the color of royalty; and yet a really deep purple seems almost to be black.
Even though there is nothing wrong with Harpo and Sofia’s marriage, Harpo wants to control his wife. Mr.__ advises Harpo to dominate Sofia the way most men do, by using violence. Celie realizes that bringing violence into a marriage damages it, but she’s jealous that Sofia isn’t beaten and that Harpo can be married three years and "still whistle and sing."
Mr.__ and his son see women essentially as servants, or slaves, meant to work while men enjoy life. Though some women try to band together and support each other, many men in this novel try to prevent them from supporting each other.