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Literary Analysis: The Color Purple Essay example

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There are numerous works of literature that recount a story- a story from which inspiration flourishes, providing a source of liberating motivation to its audience, or a story that simply aspires to touch the hearts and souls of all of those who read it. One of the most prevalent themes in historical types of these kinds of literature is racism. In America specifically, African Americans endured racism heavily, especially in the South, and did not gain equal rights until the 1960s. In her renowned book The Color Purple, Alice Walker narrates the journey of an African American woman, Celie Johnson (Harris), who experiences racism, sexism, and enduring hardships throughout the course of her life; nonetheless, through the help of friends and family, she is able to overcome her obstacles and grow into a stronger, more self-assured individual. While there are numerous themes transpiring throughout the course of the novel, the symbolism is one of the strongest prospects for instigating the plot. In The Color Purple by Alice Walker, numerous symbols influence and drive the plot of the novel.
One of the most important symbols that Walker incorporates into the plot is the letters written by Celie to either God or Nettie, signifying the power of voice. The epistolary format of the novel itself enables readers to understand Celie, whose letters are initially addressed to God. After being raped by her stepfather at the age of fourteen, he tells her to “never tell nobody but God” (Walker 1); thus, Celie’s original letters are presented more as confessions and prayers. This first letter itself “initiates the story of Celie's unrelenting victimization” (Bloom, and Williams 77-88), and the audience notices that the way in which Celie narrates ...


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Edrich, Matthias. "Alice Walker, "The Color Purple." ENGL 3060 Modern and Contemporary
Literature, 2003. Web. 14 Nov 2011. .
Harris Abrams, Patricia (1985) "The Gift of Loneliness: Alice Walker's The Color Purple,"
Language Arts Journal of Michigan: Vol. 1: Iss. 2, Article 8.
Kane, Matthew. "Symbols." New Found Growth: The Color Purple. New Found Growth, 2001.
Web. 14 Nov 2011. .
McFadden, Margaret. "The Color Purple." Salem Press (1983): 1-4.Literary Reference Center.
Web. 14 Nov 2011.
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Walker, Alice. The Color Purple. New York: Pocket Books, 1982. Print.


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