Oppression in 'The Color Purple' Book Review by Nicky

A look at representations of oppression in Alice Walker's novel "The Color Purple."
# 146657 | 1,265 words | 6 sources | MLA | 2011 | US

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This paper explores the culture of violence, as seen through the eyes of Celie, Sophia, and the other women in Alice Walker's award-winning novel, "The Color Purple." Additionally, it shows how violence was used to reduce the women in the story to nothing more than livestock. Using evidence from the book, the paper contends that that violence from a man to a woman was not only tolerated, but was expected. The review continues by listing incidences of violence in the novel and showing its impact on the characters' psyches. According to the paper, Celie remains the perfect, subservient role model for the Black women throughout the novel, in contrast to Sofia, who exemplifies what they all may feel inside, but do not show. The paper concludes by stating that purple is used throughout the novel as a symbol which signifies the oppression of black women in the culture of the Old South.


Violence and Oppression
Woman's Place
Dreams Never Mentioned

From the Paper:

"When Celie gives birth to two babies by her own father, they are taken from her and sold in town. Celie is led to believe that the infants are killed. This is to make certain that she does not try to look for them later. It also demonstrates the extent to which people are considered property and women are treated more like livestock in this culture. Celie's father shows absolutely no compassion when he sells his own grandchildren. She is being treated like a brooder, not his daughter."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Bloom, H. Alice Walker's The Color Purple. Philadelphia, PA: Chelsea House. Place of Publication: Philadelphia. 2000. pp. 181.
  • Byerman, K. Desire and Alice Walker: The Quest for a Womanist Narrative. Johns Hopkins University Press. 1989. p. 321.
  • Cutter, M. Philomela Speaks: Alice Walker's Revisioning of Rape Archetypes in the Color Purple. MELUS. 2000. pp. 161.
  • Magill, F., Kohler, D., and Mazzeno, L. Masterplots: 1,801 Plot Stories and Critical Evaluations of the World's Finest Literature. African American Literature Series. # 47. Salem Press. 1996.
  • Salzer, L. Race and Domesticity in 'The Color Purple.' African American Review. Spring 1995. pp. 1-18. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m2838/is_n1_v29/ai_17276622 Accessed March 24, 2009.

Cite this Book Review:

APA Format

Oppression in 'The Color Purple' (2011, January 10) Retrieved March 05, 2024, from https://www.academon.com/book-review/oppression-in-the-color-purple-146657/

MLA Format

"Oppression in 'The Color Purple'" 10 January 2011. Web. 05 March. 2024. <https://www.academon.com/book-review/oppression-in-the-color-purple-146657/>