Compare racial and cultural struggles in Alice Walker’s The Color

Powerful Essays
Compare racial and cultural struggles in Alice Walker’s The Color

Purple as well as Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye.

In African-American texts, blacks are seen as struggling with the

patriarchal worlds they live in order to achieve a sense of Self and

Identity. The texts I have chosen illustrate the hazards of Western

religion, Rape, Patriarchal Dominance and Colonial notions of white

supremacy; an intend to show how the protagonists of Alice Walker’s

The Color Purple as well as Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye, cope with

or crumble due to these issues in their struggle to find their

identities. The search for self-identity and self-knowledge is not an

easy task, even more so when you are a black woman and considered a

mule and a piece of property. Providing an in depth analysis of these

texts, this essay attempts to illustrate how both of these

Afro-American writers depict and resolve their respective

protagonists’ struggles.

Religion is believed by many to serve as a means to achieving or

finding self or identity. However, in the Euro-influenced Christian

religion especially, directly after ‘finding one’s self’, one is

called to deny one’s self in the name of a white ‘God’. ‘Humble

yourself and cast your burdens to God’ they say, for ‘He will make all

wrongs right’. Logically however, one must ask…what interest does the

white God (who is especially portrayed in Afro-American writings such

as The Color Purple and The Bluest Eye as a further extension of

Patriarchal values) have in black people? Moreso, if the Christian

bible is so heavily influenced by white man, what interest does the

God it portrays have in black women?

In The Color Purple, Celie’s original intended audience is a white,

male God w...

... middle of paper ...

... the voiceless, to overcome the patriarchal

oppression and gradually find her ‘Self’.


Cutter, Martha. Philomela Speaks: Alice Walker's Revisioning of Rape

Archetypes in The Color Purple - Critical Essay. MELUS, Fall – Winter,


Davis, Thadious M. Walker’s Celebration of Self in Southern


Hooks, Bell, ‘Writing the Subject: Reading The Color Purple’, in

Bloom, H., ed. Modern Critical Views: Alice Walker, New York, 1989.

Katz, Tamar. “Show Me How to Do Like You.” Didacticism and Epistolary

Form in The Color Purple. 1988.

Morrison, Toni The Bluest Eye, London: Picador, 1990.

Peach, Linden Toni Morrison London: MacMillan, 1995.

Shakhovtseva, Elena. «The Heart of Darkness» in a Multicolored World:

The Color Purple by Alice Walker as a womanist text.

Walker, Alice The Color Purple London: The Women’s Press, 1986.
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