Transformation in "The Color Purple" Book Review

Transformation in "The Color Purple"
An analysis of the transformation that the main character Celie experiences throughout "The Color Purple" by Alice Walker.
# 118853 | 3,035 words | 6 sources | MLA | 2010 | US
Published on Mar 07, 2010 in Literature (American) , English (Analysis)

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This paper examines how in Alice Walker's novel, "The Color Purple", the reader experiences an uplifting journey through the lives of two abused southern sisters who attempt to stay in communication despite being separated by the Atlantic Ocean. The story is written in the first person, alternating between Celie in America and Nettie in Africa. In particular, mainly focusing on Celie, the paper looks at how the novel expresses her revitalization through the theme of sexism as with the powerful female bonds that the woman develops throughout the work. The paper also discusses how Celie begins the novel as a weak, emotionless fourteen year old child and how, through the help of her friends Sophia and Shug and with the letters from her sister Nettie, Celie transforms into a self-sufficient, confident woman by the end of the novel.

From the Paper:

"Being a feminist novel, The Color Purple provokes readers to look beyond oppression caused by whites to blacks and to see that Celie endures severe beatings from her black husband Mr. as well as being raped and impregnated by her black step-father (Scholl). These men are the source of her emotional numbness because they dehumanize her by treating her as though she is worth nothing to the world despite all of the hard work she does as a housewife. Yvonne Johnson writes, "The powerlessness Walker's women feel is often reaffirmed by the physical abuse they endure in their marriages," (Johnson). Celie does not allow herself to feel as she sinks lower into the feeling of powerlessness because the pain would be extremely excruciating. Thus, the young woman drives herself into a state of numbness as she is forced to live with Mr. and care for his obnoxious, uncouth children."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Ciccarelli, Sheryl and Napierkowski, Marie Rose Editors. Novels for Students. Vol. 5. Gale: Detroit and London 1999. Print.
  • Fiske, Shanyn. "Piecing the Patchwork Self: A Reading of Walker's The Color Purple." Literature (2008). Proquest. Web. 30 Oct 2009.
  • Johnson, Yvonne, and Harold Bloom "Alice Walker's "The Color Purple.." Blooms Modern Critical Interpretations: The Color Purple (2000): 205-229. Literary Reference Center. EBSCO. Web 28 Oct. 2009
  • Scholl, Diane Gabrielsen, and Harold Bloom "With Ears to Hear and Eyes to See: Alice Walker's Parable "The Color Purple.." Blooms Modern Critical Interpretations: The Color Purple (200): 107-117. Literary Reference Center. EBSCO. Web. 30 Oct. 2009.
  • "Themes and Construction: The Color Purple." Exploring Novels. Detroit: Gale, 2003. Discovering Collection. Web. 28 Oct 2009.

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