The Color Purple by Alice Walker

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The Color Purple by Alice Walker is a story written in 1982 that is about the life struggles of a young African American woman named Celie. The novel takes the reader through several main topics including the poor treatment of African American women, domestic abuse, family relationships, and also religion. The story takes place mostly in rural Georgia in the early 1900’s and demonstrates the difficult life of sharecropper families. Specifically how life was endured from the perspective of an African American woman. The Color Purple is written in the form of letters that Celie narrates explaining the events that took place at certain points in her life. Celie endures physical and emotional abuse by some of the people around her including her own family. But in the end Celie finds a new and fulfilling life through relationships with her sister and good friends.

The novel explores the idea that domestic violence is a trait that is passed on from generation to generation but can be unlearned. Domestic Violence was one of the most important and most critical topics that were explained in The Color Purple. The book begins as Celie describes her initial family. Her father beats her mother and proceeds to rape Celie after her mother becomes too ill to satisfy her father’s sexual needs. She lives in constant fear of “him” and makes it her underlining goal to protect her sister Nettie from him at all costs. In the story her father states to Celie “You better never tell nobody but God. It’d kill your mammy” (Walker 1) making it clear that she is forced to comply with all his needs. Celie’s father impregnates her and when she is to give birth her father takes the infant away from her, and makes it seem like he has killed the baby in t...

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...d. Dear stars, dear trees, dear sky, dear peoples. Dear Everything. Dear God.” (Walker 285) stating that she has now seen God from her own perspective and not what others portray God to be. Celie finds herself becoming an independent woman. She was always limited by her emotional feelings and the violence that went on around her, and she thought of herself as almost worthless. Celie used her new vision of God to give her a sort of “new life” and become the woman she sees herself to be. The letters to God helped her through her journey to live a happy life with her sister. Alice Walker gives the reader a chance to feel what an African American female felt during that time. This book gives all women the inspiration and hope that through communication, friendship, and belief in God life’s many obstacles can be overcome and peace and happiness are possible.
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