The Color Purple by Alice Walker

1139 Words5 Pages
Abuse, particularly when it comes to black women, often occurred in the early twentieth century. The novel The Color Purple by Alice Walker touches on the abuse Celie endures as a child, and expands upon the struggles she continues battling throughout her adult life. With a husband who carries on an ongoing affair with the mother of his children, Celie comes to the realization that her husband had been hiding letters addressed to Celie written by her sister Nettie from her for years. Shug Avery and she rescue the letters and read the fascinating story that unfolds.
In the beginning of the book, Celie first acknowledges the activities her father coerces her into, and she also briefly mentions her mother before her unfortunate death. Celie’s sister Nettie then brings home a man she would like to marry, but Celie marries the man out of her father’s obligation. She moves in with the man and begins caring for the household and managing his bratty children. The son, Harpo, marries Sofia and they live in a smaller house right next to Celie’s housing. Harpo believes that women are meant to always obey their husbands, so he attempts to beat her the way Celie s beat, to no avail. Sofia’s bullheadedness forces her into jail when she challenges the mayor’s wife, whom she is later the maid for. Shug Avery, the mother of Celie’s husband’s children, falls ill, and Celie and her husband end up taking her in. Celie and Shug grow to be extremely close as Celie is nursing Shug back to health. Once Shug becomes aware of the existence of the letters, she informs Celie and the duo retrieve the letters and open them, putting the envelopes back in their hiding place. Celie and Shug read about the escapades Nettie had been through on her journey through...

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...xist before. She leaves her attackers and becomes her own woman. Although she I the main protagonist, she is not the only character who becomes empowered. A fantastic example of another young lady gaining confidence is Tashi. As a knowledgeless(there has to be a real word that will work here) and powerless child, Tashi learns of the possibilities of learning and growing the boys in her village do, eventually ending in her rising to her own type of empowerment.
The Color Purple is a tale of learning to grow into a strong adult. This spunky family learns to care for themselves and refuses to be oppressed by the façade of power that is unrealistic. The women of the book advance on to greener pastures, learning to live for themselves, not be under the thumb of society.

Works Cited

Walker, Alice. The Color Purple. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1982. Print.
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