Realism is often portrayed by writers such as Alice Walker. Her poems, essays, short stories, and novels portray her views on feminism and civil rights while giving a realist approach that has provoked readers for many years. Her horrific and brutally honest writing style made the world see a different view of minority women and allowed her to receive the Pulitzer Prize for her novel The Color Purple (“Alice Walker”). She lived a life of poverty and racial discrimination, which led her to become an opinionated feminist. Walker’s realistic writing style portrays her obscure upbringing and her feminist opinions; in her work The Color Purple, she shows the aspects of growing up as a minority woman and the frequency of racial discrimination.
The straight forward, honest writings of Walker allow her to be classified as a realist writer. Realism originated in nineteenth century France and extended into the early twentieth century. It is characterized by writing where one “describe[s] life without any idealization or romantic subjectivity“ (Writers History). Instead of romanticizing, as many other authors did, this kind of writing is meant to portray things as they truly are; sometimes this includes: intense images, hurtful speech, and morally unjust topics. Walker used this form of writing to show audiences how life was in the South, which makes many readers remorseful for the nation's unjust past. In her novel, The Color Purple, Walker makes readers question everything in his or her life; she uses incestuous relationships between the protagonist, Celie, and her father to scare readers and open their eyes to what has happened in America's history. Incestuous relationships between father and daughter were common in the early 1900s. In ...
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Critical Essays on Alice Walker. Ed. By Ikenna Dieke. Greenwood Press, Westpoint, Connecticut, London, 1999
Many authors use the themes oppression and victory to define a struggle. This technique allows readers to relate with characters on a personal level. Alice Walker constantly uses this theme in her short story “Everyday Use” with her character Maggie and in her book The Color Purple with her character Celie. Both tales depict these women as underdogs who overcome obstacles to realize her full potential at the end.
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.
Several critics claim Alice Walker's depiction of men is too harsh and too one-dimensional, but based on what I have read in The Color Purple, I cannot agree. Celie is a woman who has been negatively affected by men her whole life. Whether it was her stepfather throughout her childhood or her husband, Mr. _____, during her 20s, men made her life miserable. The harsh depiction of men is accurate based on the way Celie's stepfather and Mr. _____ treated her.
Alice Walker’s writings were greatly influenced by the political and societal happenings around her during the 1960s and 1970s. She not only wrote about events that were taking place, she participated in them as well. Her devoted time and energy into society is very evident in her works. The Color Purple, one of Walker’s most prized novels, sends out a social message that concerns women’s struggle for freedom in a society where they are viewed as inferior to men. The events that happened during and previous to her writing of The Color Purple had a tremendous impact on the standpoint of the novel.
• Alice Walker herself has said: “I believe it is from this period – from my solitary, lonely position, the position of an outcast – that I began really to se people and things, really to notice relationships and to learn to be patient enough to care about how they turned out...”
In the book, The Color Purple, Alice Walker used several symbols and personifications to describe Celie's insecure and painful life. From the view of a reader, the title of the book, "The Color Purple" represents the pain and the bruises that had been given to Celie through her pitiful life. Dear God, Nettie, dears stars and trees show Celie's insecure personality, also Alice Walker personalized the stars and trees to be involved with Celie's communication. By reading through the book, readers would understand the discriminations of men and women's social statuses at that time when the story was taking place, and Celie is just one of those young ladies who has a fateful life.
Alice Walker, one of the best-known and most highly respected writers in the US, was born in Eatonton , Georgia, the eighth and last child of Willie Lee and Minnie Lou Grant Walker. Her parents were sharecroppers, and money was not always available as needed. At the tender age of eight, Walker lost sight of one eye when one of her older brothers shot her with a BB gun by accident. This left her in somewhat a depression, and she secluded herself from the other children. Walker felt like she was no longer a little girl because of the traumatic experience she had undergone, and she was filled with shame because she thought she was unpleasant to look at. During this seclusion from other kids her age, Walker began to write poems. Hence, her career as a writer began.
Baga, A. (2010, June). Celie's Emancipation Process in Alice Walker's "The color Purple". Retrieved September 5, 2013, from http://www.umc.edu.dz/theses/anglais/BAG1207.pdf
Events in history have influenced writers’ style, genre, and emphasis in their stories. 1 Alice Walker was greatly influenced by the time period of the 1940’s. There was much racism and oppression during that time, especially for black women. Women were beaten and abused simply because of their color and gender. Celie, a young black woman, endured many hardships reflective of the time period including racism, oppression, and sexism but remained strong in her faith in God and overcame these obstacles to show the quiet strength of a woman. The oppression of black women is very evident in The Color Purple (Ryan 3062). It is especially shown in the relationship between father and daughter, Alphonso and Celie(Fulmer 1). From the time Celie is very young she is subject to oppression. She is raped repeatedly by her stepfather and is told to keep quiet about it (Walker 1). This is very demeaning to Celie and it causes her to fear men for a good portion of her life (Walker 6). Celie gets pregnant twice with her stepfather. He takes the first baby and “ kilt it out there in the woods.” The other he sells to a family in a nearby town (Walker 3-4). Celie is oppressed all throughout her life, but she learns to overcome it and support herself (Ryan 3062).
February 9, 1944, Alice Tallulah-Kate Walker was born in a rural county in Eatonton, Georgia, unknown to the world at this time but “she would become a woman of deep sensitivity” (Bates). Alice grew up in an environment full of racism and poverty. These two factors, along with her passion for gender issues, remain a large part of her narratives. Her role in literature took a high position in not only women studies and African American literature but also American literature as well (Bates). Alice Walker is a very well known and respected author. She is an accomplished American poet, novelist, and activist. Beginning her career in writing in 1970, The Color Purple is the third novel she wrote, for
The Color Purple follows Celie's transformation from an ugly duckling into a beautiful swan. What is remarkable is the fact that this transformation does not merely compose the plot of the novel, it also dominates the layout of the pages. The book's chapters are not written in a typical fashion as each chapter is a letter written from Celie to God, Celie to her sister Nettie, or Nellie to Celie. Alice Walker utilized this method of storytelling to give the reader a very personal glimpse into Celie's mind and soul. The writer gets a feel for Celie through her writing style- she uses specific phrasing to express herself and, over time, her mechanical writing skills improve greatly. We see Celie's thought process as she makes decisions and then writes about them. This powerful narration is the main driving force behind the words.
The novel The Color Purple by Alice Walker is the story of a poor, young black girl, growing up in rural Georgia in the early twentieth century. The novel follows the protagonist, Celie, as she experiences such hardships as racism and abuse, all the while attempting to discover her own sense of self-worth. Celie expresses herself through a series of private letters that are initially addressed to God, then later to her sister Nettie. As Celie develops from an adolescent into an adult, her letters possess m...
One of the most popular works by Walker was, The Color Purple. In this Alice Walker story, the reader meets a girl named Celie. In this novel, Walker takes the reader on a journey through much of Celie’s life. While taking the reader through this tale, Walker draws attention to a number of social aspects during this time period. Through Cilie’s life, Walker brings to light the abuse and mistreatment of African American women from 1910 through the 1940’s. “Women were also regarded as less important than men-both Black and white Black women doubly disadvantage. Black women of the era were often treated as slaves or as property” (Tavormina page 2...