Essay on The Color Purple By Alice Walker

Essay on The Color Purple By Alice Walker

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People around us have a significant impact on the way we live our life, whether consciously or subconsciously. In the novel The Color Purple by Alice Walker, the protagonist Celie’s life is greatly impacted by that of her friend, mentor, and lover, Shug Avery. The confident and independent Shug teaches her about equality, the way to be religious without being devoted to a figurehead, and how to respect and love herself. She teaches all of these qualities by living them herself in everyday life; the way she carries herself, speaks, acts, and even prays in ways that inspires Celie. If it was not for Shug’s assertiveness presence, Celie would have never had the opportunity to become a different person and her view on life would be more sheltered. In the end she has lived a live full of potential with help of Shug. Shug has a tremendous influence on Celie’s life and emotional wellbeing.
1. Teaching Celie Equality
Throughout a large portion of the novel Shug teaches Celie about how she is equal to those who try to make her feel inferior. When Shug tells Celie that she should make pants to wear because it would be more convenient then doing garden work in a dress, Celie is shocked by the blatant refusal of gender roles, but Shug say to her, “Why not? […] You do all the work around here. It’s a scandless, the way you look out there plowing in a dress. How you keep from falling over it or getting the plow caught in it is beyond me” (146). Shug is showing Celie that she does equal or more work than the men who wear the same kind of pants, thus she should be treated in the same level of respect. Another instance where Shug presses to Celie her equality is when she points out that God and man are very different and men should not be worshipp...


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...ug’s influence. He says, “Since childhood, Celie was just a subordinate to others and was not able to fight. Through Shug, Celie learns how to fight to survive in the supremacist society” (Hami, n.d.), discussing the affect Shug had on Celie’s learning to respect herself.
Celie’s life and emotional wellbeing are greatly influenced by Shug Avery. Over time, Celie learns how to take care of herself and, just like all human beings that came from a place of hardship like herself, once this realization hit, true independence occurred and whatever was holding her down slowly disappeared. The fear of doing what was right vanished and similar to Shug a strong, mature and independent black woman emerged. It is left up for interpretation what Celie’s life would have been like without Shug guiding her through her hardships and teaching her how to be a better, self-loving person.

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