The Color Purple Reserch Paper
“But I don’t know how to fight, all I know how to do is stay alive” (17). These lines are spoken by the main character, Celie, in Alice Walker’s classic The Color Purple. She is purely a victim. Repeatedly raped by her stepfather, she lives a life of oppression and violence. She soon finds her voice through God and the relationship between her and the other women in the book. All of the characters in The Color Purple are isolated from what is happening outside of their neighborhood, particularly the political events that take place throughout the world. In The Color Purple, Walker uses the relationship and development of specific characters to show the struggle for black women.
Violence is shown throughout the novel, Women being raped, mentally and physically abused, by men. Celie is raped by her stepfather multiple times, affecting her self confidence and the way she views herself, she’s scared of black men and struggles to trust them. Celie says, “He beat me today cause he say I winked at a boy in church. I may have got somethin in my eye but I didn’t wink. I don’t even look at men. That’s the truth. I look at women, though, cause I’m not scared of them” (5). She clearly shows her frustration and genuine terror for men. These women throughout the novel struggle for equality in their relationships, this was extremely frustrating for women during this time. The Color Purple focused on the struggle for independence for black women, with the role of male domination, it is very fraustering for these women” (Watkins 450). Watkins, expresses multiple times through her criticisms of how much male domination contributes to the novel. Many examples of violence are shown throughout the novel, women fighting and struggling for their freedom from the constant cruelty they endure.
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Relationships throughout the novel change drastically. Jealousy among the women was a struggle throughout the novel. Once the women come and join together with the problems they were facing in their own lives, being abused and talked down to by the men in their lives, they join together and learned how to stand up for themselves. Celie and Shug Avery create a bond throughout the novel. This relationship shows that the struggles these women go through, they can always have someone to turn too. Jealousy is a powerful thing they struggle with in the beginning of the novel. Celie says “He love looking at Shug. I love looking at Shug. But Shug don’t love looking at but one of us. Him. But that the way it supposed to be. I know that. But if that so, why my heart hurt me so?” (24-26). Celie becomes jealous of Shug Avery looks.
Celie and Shug form a strong bond, Shug apologizes for treating Celie poorly in the beginning by saying, “And when I come here, say Shug, I treated you so mean. Like you was a servant. And all because Albert married you. And I didn’t even want him for a husband” (117). Shug admits her being jealous of Celie for being married to a man that she once had feeling for. Critics commented multiple times about women coming together and supporting each other. “redemptive love requires female bonding” (Prescott 450). Prescott, says that acting to save someone from evil or error requires the women coming together and bonding. The Color Purple, shows the struggles of women creating bonds with one another and coming together to support one another, but as the story progresses and the characters grow, they create an inseperable bond with one another. Which shows with Celie and Shug Avery. Alienation was shown throughout the novel. It is shown in many ways. Nettie who is Celie sister