Redemption in Alice Walker's Color Purple Essay

Redemption in Alice Walker's Color Purple Essay

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Redemption in The Color Purple  


Alice Walker grew up in rural Georgia in the mid 1900s as the daughter of two poor sharecroppers.  Throughout her life, she has been forced to face and overcome arduous lessons of life.  Once she managed to transfer the struggles of her life into a book, she instantaneously became a world-renowned author and Pulitzer Prize winner.  The Color Purple is a riveting novel about the struggle between redemption and revenge according to Dinitia Smith.  The novel takes place rural Georgia, starting in the early 1900s over a period of 30 years.  Albert, also known as Mr._____, and his son Harpo must prevail over their evil acts towards other people, especially women.  Albert and Harpo wrong many people throughout their lives.  To be redeemed, they must first learn to love others, then reflect upon their mistakes, and finally become courageous enough to take responsibility for their actions.  In The Color Purple, Alice Walker effectively develops Albert and Harpo through redemption using love, reflection, and responsibility.

            Through the course of the novel, Albert is an appalling husband, father, and person.  He treats his wife, Celie as if she is his slave from the beginning of their arranged marriage; he expects her to cook three meals a day, and take care of his many children from his previous marriage.  Albert does not begin to realize the pain he is causing, or at least try to make himself change until Celie leaves him.  “You a lowdown dog is what’s wrong, I say.  It’s time to leave you and enter into the Creation.  And your dead body is just the welcome mat I need…”  (Walker 207).  It took words as powerful as these for him to become aware of the fact that he did not love or resp...


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            In The Color Purple, Alice Walker efficiently develops Albert and Harpo through three key aspects of redemption:  love, responsibility, and reflection.  Albert and Harpo are both practically forced to recognize how they were treating people; Albert with Celie’s speech, and Harpo with the way Sofia beat him up.  Next, the two reflect on their errors in life.  How they both mistreated their wives, and suppressed them.  Then they gain the bravery to apologize to the people they realized that they really do love, and be forgiven (Walker 231).  Albert and Harpo learn a valuable lesson throughout the years; one they will surely never forget.  Alice Walker proficiently shows the development of two new people, through redemption using love, reflection, and responsibility. 

Works Cited:

Walker, Alice. The Color Purple. 1982. New York: Pocket, 1985.

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