Alice Walke Reflection

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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.…show more content…
When Celie tells Shug about her view of God, Shug points out that “How come he look just like them, then? … Only bigger? And a heap more hair. How come the bible just like everything else they make, all about them doing one thing and another, and all the colored folks doing is gitting cursed?” (194). Shug is pointing out that white men are the ones who decided God looks like a white man, so it is up to them to interpret who God really is. They do not need to rely on others to support their faith or deny their worth through this faith. Another time Shug teaches Celie about being a good believer is when she says, “…have you ever found God in church? I never did. I just found a bunch of folks hoping for him to show. Any God I ever felt in church I brought in with me. The come to church to share God, not find God” (193). Shug is showing Celie that she can use her faith as a form of connection to others instead of waiting for the day God will make a direct entrance in their lives. Hsiao explains in his dissertation “Language, Gender, and Power in The Color Purple: Theories and Approaches” that Shug helps Celie reimagine God. He writes, “Besides her contribution to Celie’s awakening in sexuality, Shug also assists in deconstructing Celie’s imaginary addressee–a silent God” (Hsiao, 2008), which explains that Shug had an important impact on Celie’s life…show more content…
This is seen when Shug tells her, “God made [your feelings]. Listen, God love everything you love—and a mess of stuff you don’t” (196). Shug is saying that if God loves the things she loves, so if the way she feels matters to the divine, then its importance is unquestionable. Shug teaching Celie self-confidence is also seen when Shug tells her that she is part of God and that makes her special to be a contribution to such a large ideology. Shug says, “Here 's the thing, […] The thing I believe. God is inside you and inside everybody else. You come into the world with God. But only them that search for it inside find it. And sometimes it just manifest itself even if you not looking, or don 't know what you looking for. […] Don 't look like nothing […] It ain 't a picture show. It ain 't something you can look at apart from anything else, including yourself. I believe God is everything, say Shug. Everything that is or ever was or ever will be. And when you can feel that, and be happy to feel that, you 've found it” (195). This way of introducing Celie to her true potential allows her to understand that she deserves to be happy because she is an exquisite creation of God. Hami’s dissertation on Celie’s empowered identity talks about the improvement of Celie’s life due to Shug’s influence. He says, “Since childhood, Celie was just a subordinate to others and was not able to fight. Through
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