Celie's Pain in The Color Purple Molestation is a topic that is painful to think about, and even more difficult to write about. Yet Alice Walker chose this as the central theme of her novel The Color Purple. Walker's work centers around a poor African American girl Celie. Celie keeps a diary, and the first section of the novel is an excerpt from her diary. After reading the excerpt, the reader comes to realize that Celie is a fourteen-year-old girl who has been molested by her father.
Walker, Nancy A. Feminist Alternatives: Irony and Fantasy in the Contemporary Novel by Women. Jackson: UP of Mississippi, 1990. West, Paul. "Enigmas of Imagination: Orlando Through the Looking Glass." Virginia Woolf.
Walker’s novels communicate the psychology of a Black woman under the Western social order, touch on the “exoticism of Black women” and challenge stereotypes molded by the white men in power (Bobo par. 24). In The Color Purple Walker illustrates the life of a woman in an ordinary Black family in the rural South; in his article “Matriarchal Themes in Black Family Literature”, Rubin critiques that Walker emphasizes not only that the Black female is oppressed within society, but also that external oppression causes her to internalize her inferiority. Every theme in Walker’s writings is given through the eyes of a Black woman; by using her personal experiences to develop her short stories and novels, Walker gives the Black woman a voice in literature. Walker demonstrates through her writings that the oppression of Black women is both internal and external.
London: Pan books, 1990. Print Reuben, Paul P. "Chapter 3: Harriet E. Adams Wilson." Perspectives in American Literature- A Research and Reference Guide. Walker, Alice. In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens: Womanist Prose.
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.
Coleman, Robin Means. "'Roll Up Your Sleeves! ': Black Women, Black Feminism in Feminist Media Studies." Feminist Media Studies 11.1 (2011): 35-41. Web.
Black Women in America: an Historical Encyclopedia. Ed. Darlene Clark Hine, Elsa Barkley Brown, Rosalyn Terborg-Penn. Brooklyn, N.Y.: Carlson Pub., 1993. "Voices From the Gaps -- Women Writers of Color."
Black female writers have become increasingly aware of the negative stereotyping and oppression suffered by black women. In an article entitled "Dear Black Man," Fran Sanders discussed the plight of the black woman in American society (73-79). According to Sanders, the black man is already seen and heard by society (73). The black woman, however, has been misrepresented throughout history by historians, novelists, and statisticians as a "castrating matriarch" (74). Sanders stated that black women have long been a "secondary consideration" in relation to other genders and races in society (74).