Alice Walker’s The Color Purple is a good example of how black women’s sexuality is depicted in society. The film draws audience attention to the fact the black women's bodies were not desirable during slavery as we see Celie constantly being abused by the men in her life. In fact, this was the beginning of traumatic life experiences as she marries an abusive man while living in a racists environment. The turning point in her identity is when she meets her husband’s ex-lover, Shug. When they first met, they weren’t attracted to each other. Shug first words to Celie was “you sure are ugly”. As we may have noticed, Shug doesn't realise that Celie desires her sexually where she only wants to recover from her illness with the help of Celie. Despite …show more content…
After Shug discovers this, she considers Celie a virgin since she had never been sexually satisfied. Then, Celie becomes embarrassed as Shug strokes her arm. Here, this action shows their desire to be with each other. By Walker moving from the topic of female desire to male desire condenses the sensuality of the scene and implicitly refused to affirm their homosexuality. As their interaction progressed, they began kissing and each other. A diegetic music (1920s jazz song) is playing in the background, giving the scene a sense of intimacy between the women. What’s interesting about the scene is when Celie kisses Shug, she smiles like she did in the mirror. In this case, Celie’s smile signifies her liberation as a woman accepting her sexuality. This Kissing scene is so clean, in fact if you didn't watch the movie fro the start, you may not recognized it was a sexual encounter. As stated by Vito Russo in The Celluloid Closet (1996), when two women engaged in kissing, it's always “sanitized”. This prevents queer characters from engaging in realistic sexual behaviour. However, the last shot of the love-making scene does not show the character's sexual desire, but instead, a diegetic sound and close-up of a violet chandelier-like object gleaming. What’s interesting is that the color violet was used as an identification code for lesbianism (Goodin, 1995, p. 22).The shot suggested that there was a possible lesbian relationship and their sexual desires are left open for
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Symbolism was a major literary element that is developed throughout The Color Purple. A model or image of God in the novel was a truly disturbing and yet a touching dedication to the female spirit and its search for equality, acceptance and independence. The meanings of names, clothes, quilting, occupations, power, and colors are only a few examples of the symbols used by the author to develop the characters of the story. No matter how hard and long Celies looks, it seems impossible to find love and happiness for herself. The purple color itself symbolized love while religion was often seen as offering a path of transformation-a way that leads through to happiness. In The Color Purple, Alice Walker used the symbolism of the letters to God,
Both males and females have influences that help decide the ways in which they think, dress, speak, and act within the situation of society. Cultural and personal gender roles are a big influence on the way people live. Learning plays a role in this process of shaping gender roles. Peers, parents, movies, teachers, television, books, and movies could all teach and reinforce gender roles throughout the lifespan.
anyone. Thus her relationship with Shug develops and becomes close friends. Shug fills the roles of mother, friend, sister, lover and teacher to her. With the help of Shug and Nettie Celie transforms from sorrow to happy, successful and independent woman. She starts new business sewing pants with the help of Shug and becomes a successful business woman. Mr. Albert who has changed a great deal since Celie’s departure repents and reconciles with his wife. Thus the family of Celie is reunited with the arrival of Nettie with her children and ends the novel with happy note. The message of the novel is that women must stand up against the unfair treatment they receive at the hands of men and they should do this by helping one another.
For centuries, women struggle to obtain equality with men. They are invisible and not given opportunities because of their gender. Feminism is the matter of consideration in social, political, and economic equality of the sexes. The feminist movement has been the key to give the rights to women who have been stricken of their equality and privileges that men had fail to give them. It is believed that women have every right to be equal with men and feminism is achieving this gradually. Feminism is favorable to the men, women, and their families because it gives an equal opportunity in life
Writers of all genres uses symbolism as a way to introduce objects or ideas that will expand and deepen the meaning of their writings. The title of Alice Walker’s novel “The Color Purple” could be considered a symbolism. Purple is the color that is said to represent imagination and spirituality. It helps the individual to get in touch with their deeper thoughts, feelings and inspires them to have high standards about themselves. Purple is said to be associated with the transformation of the soul. The main character of Walker’s novel was struggling with finding love and finding her purpose in life. The reader experience the transformation of Celie from a weak submissive young woman to an independent, businesswoman. The title was the perfect match for the context of the novel. Furthermore, the pants that Celie made, sold and eventually wore was a sign of liberation for
The Color Purple depicts the struggle within the life of the female protagonist, Celie. Celie, a clear victim of abuse, narrates the story through a collection of writings that starts with her confession of “Dear God.” Celie’s story encompasses around her life and the characters that breaks the common gender depiction. The story heavily addresses the subject of social and behavioral standards for either men and women. It raises an issues on traditional marital subjects, family patriarchy, and social topics. In a traditional take of the family structure, the man often exhibits the dominant male figure head with the final say. The father provides the money and security for the wife and children as well as claim authority over the family. He becomes very work oriented and cares for the children only in times of need. On the other hand, the woman acts to be passive and pleases her husband. She plays a major role in raising and educating the children in every way possible. Often times, the woman takes a small part in maintaining a profession; although, she holds responsibility for all house work. The societal perspective of the patriarchal family system relies so heavily on gender roles that it becomes an expectation and the regulated norm. The Color Purple disrupts this gender norm by introducing characters that faces marital issues due to being the opposite of the typical gender role. Because they embody the opposite gender’s likely attributes, it becomes a questioning issue that leads to striving to live up to social norms or dealing with society disapproval. Within the progression of the novel, the women possess a sense of empowerment while as the men accept how things are in the world. The introducti...
Alice Walker was born in Eatonton on February 9, 1944. She is an African American novelist, short story writer, poet, essayist, and activist. Walker has taught African American women's studies to college students at wellesley, the university of Massachusetts at Boston". She writes through various personal experiences, she described herself as "womanist" which means a woman who loves other woman and appreciate them. Walker writes through her feelings and the morals she has grown with. She writes about the black woman's struggle for spiritual wholeness and sexual, and political issues especially with black women's struggle for survival.
In section three of The Color Purple, the main character is Celie. In this section she gains a little more control over her life, begins to express herself through creativity and also becomes more free and independent. Her decision to leave with Shug to go to Tennessee and begin her own pants business is good examples of these things. This section shows how much progress she has made in herself. We learn about Celie through different situations and dialogues she has throughout this section.
Due to miscegenation, the skin tone among black Americans varies from milky to ebony. Many black people have attached status to being lighter and have avoided darker members of the race. The roots for this colorist distinction come from slavery. Lighter persons who were frequently the offspring of white masters and black women slaves were given the easier work — usually the housework. The rest of the slaves, the darker ones, were given the fieldwork to do. Carrie 's sharp-tongued observation about Shug — "She too black" — means that Shug 's skin tone is probably close to ebony. However, all this prejudice refuses to take root in Celie 's consciousness; she is more intrigued than ever by the illusive Shug Avery. In fact, now that Shug is the personification of adventure and magic and beauty, Celie associates a shopping trip with the glamorous Shug. It also seems that Celie knows that purple is associated with royalty; that 's why she says "purple" aloud when she and Kate are discussing the color of Celie 's new dress. Celie is thinking of Shug and simply utters the color that is synonymous with Shug: purple. But just as there is no Shug Avery in Celie 's life — not yet — there is no color purple in the dress store. Not yet. For the present, Celie has to make do with blue. But Kate utters one of the central ideas in this novel that becomes a part of Celie 's soul. She
The second most important relationship that develops in Alice Walker’s “The Color Purple”, is the relationship between Celie and Shug. Even before Celie meets Shug she is envious of her; she starts with just word of mouth, then a picture, until finally they meet. Shug represents everything that that is frowned upon in the patriarchal society. She is fatherless, sexually promiscuous, and a very talented singer. She is a strong, independent, and free woman, and because of this she is outcast from society. Walker writes “He talk bout [Shug] a strumpet in short skirts, smoking cigarettes, drinking gin. Singing for money and taking other women mens. Talk bout slut, hussy, heifer and streetcleaner”(44). Shug represents the ultimate freedom to Celie, she is able to control Albert and she is not owned or controlled by any man.
In Alice Walker’s book The Color Purple, she was portraying the life that African American women had to go through daily. The books tells a story about how black men would mistreat black women; sexual and physical abuse (Kauffmann). The Color Purple’s purpose is to recognize the heartaches, but by telling it in a story form; showing that by writing a story that can be learned from ones suffering (Fiske). According to Fiske, “The Color Purple is continually equated with suffering and pain… described as the color of "eggplant" (Fiske).The women went through physical abuse, mental abuse, and sexual abuse throughout the whole book.
Sedgewick observes, one’s social position is affected by various axis of classification such as gender, sexuality, race, class and the interplay of these social identities. In The Color Purple by Alice walker, Sedgewick’s observations ring true. Celie, the main character in Walker’s novel, is a perfect example of these observations put forth by Sedgewick. Celie’s social position is indicative of her gender, sexuality, race, and class; as a Black woman living in Georgia in 1910 to 1940, one can expect to witness the general ‘acceptable’ racism present within the novel towards people of color. Despite the ‘acceptable’ racism, the novel accentuates the hardships and struggles the women of color in this novel have to go through. The social positions of the characters, more so Celie and Sofia, in Walker’s The Color Purple are based on the social identities of their gender, race, class, sexuality, and ethnicity.
In The Color Purple, Alice Walker explores the life of a beaten, black woman who triumphantly finds her way in life, Celie. She writes letters to God, then transitions into letters to her sister Nettie throughout the course of the story. The book begins with Celie at age 14 and ends with her at an estimated age of 55. At a young age, she is raped by her ‘father’ then is forced to marry a man named Mr.___, or otherwise known as Albert. Celie is a sensible woman who learns to deal with the curveballs that are thrown at her. She raises Mr.___’s children, looses her sister, and takes regular beatings from her husband. Soon, Shug Avery is introduced; she is Mr.___’s long time mistress, a blue’s singer, and a lover. Celie and Shug’s relationship starts out rocky, but they end up just as sisters. Shug is pivotal to Celie’s growth throughout the book. Celie is the ultimate one in control of her life, she grows a thick backbone and becomes a successful woman on her own.
At a very young age, Celie begins writing letters to God. In her letters she explains her fears about her stepfather raping her, her mother and sister being beat, and her fears for her sister, Nettie. This epistolary novel (a novel in which the narrative is carried forward by letters) takes place during the early twentieth century, where slavery still existed in the South, and black people lived discriminating lives. Even though many black Southerners formed tight-knit communities, physical, mental and sexual abuse was still brought on to many of the black women living in the frame of male civilization. In The Color Purple (1983), Alice Walker portrays these harsh realities and struggles through the letters of a young woman named Celie.
The Color Purple depicts the struggle and growth of Celie, an uneducated slave of the South who became a victim of racism, sexual roles, men, and social injustices, in numerous letters that she writes as a diary. Walker uses Celie's uneducated grammar to help the reader perceive the pain that she thinks and feels in order to become a mature, twentieth-century woman.