Alice Walker Analytical Essay by Research Group

Alice Walker
An examination of the literary style of the novelist Alice Walker and a review of her novel "The Color Purple".
# 27383 | 1,219 words | 4 sources | MLA | 2002 | US
Published on Jun 03, 2003 in Literature (American) , English (Analysis)


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Description:

This paper discusses how the novelist Alice Walker writes about her own youth and development into a woman and shows how gender roles in childhood are more flexible. It looks at how Walker's best-known work is her novel "The Color Purple", in which she writes about people she has known, people who lived in the part of the country where she grew up, and how she understands these people and the reasons for their behavior. It analyzes how the subject matter of the book is the mistreatment of black women by their men and shows how, in order to explore this theme, Walker sets her book in the mind of one victim of this abuse so that the nature of the abuse and its consequences are expressed by that character's letters.

From the Paper:

"The novel is set in a period around the turn of the century, not that long after the period of slavery and the Reconstruction era during which blacks were not given the "40 acres and a mule" they had been promised. The males seem to be fighting back at the only target they have any control over, their women. Though slavery was outlawed at the end of the Civil War, the social reality was that blacks in the South were still considered second-class citizens and were not given the same opportunities as whites. Their movements were also circumscribed to a great extent, and the law was on the side of the whites and not the blacks. The social attitudes that developed during the period of slavery, with one race of people elevated over another, continue in the time of this book. The black characters are living in a different kind of slavery, and this slavery derives from the fact that their opportunities are fewer when compared with the whites in the same community. Black-white tensions are not central in this novel, though they are seen in the attitudes and actions of the Mayor, but racial tensions are a subtext of the events just the same."

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