Free Essays - The Depiction of Black Men in Alice Walker's Color Purple

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Depiction of Black Men in The Color Purple

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.

Celie's stepfather mistreated her in such a way that an accurate depiction was made. When Celie's mother became ill and unable to satisfy her husband, he told Celie to fulfill her mother's job. When Celie cried because of the pain, her stepfather said, "you better shut up and git used to it"(3). To assure himself that no one would find out about his secret he told Celie "you better not never tell nobody but God it'd kill your mammy"(1) and told Mr._____ "she tell lies"(9). As a result, when Celie's mother passed away, she felt that she killed her mother, when in fact her mother was terminally ill. After two pregnancies, Celie was unable to produce anymore children because her father injured her reproductive system. The children Celie had, her stepfather took them away from her, while in her heart she yearned to find them even years later. Celie's stepfather degraded her and always wanted to keep her self-esteem low by constantly telling her "she is a bad influence on my other girls...she ugly don't even look like she kin to Nettie...she aint smart either"(9).

After Celie got married, the way men treated her did not change too much. Celie got beaten in the same manor Mr. _____ beat the children, but only because she was his wife. Mr. _____'s children not wanting a new mother created a bad situation between them and Celie. The oldest boy threw a rock at Celie's head that burst open her head, the girls cry, scream, and curse and all Mr. _____ said was to not do it. Mr. _____ only married Celie to have someone to cook, clean, work, take care of the children and sleep with.
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