Plot summary[ edit ] Celie is a poor, uneducated year-old girl living in the American South in the early s. She writes letters to God because her stepfather, Alphonso, beats her harshly and rapes her continuously. Alphonso has already impregnated Celie once, a pregnancy that resulted in the birth of a boy she named Adam.
She is largely uneducated; her letters to God are written in non-standard dialect. Walker has called the dialect black folk language, and while it may not be polished English, it is raw and honest — and strong.
Celie's letters are unusually strong; they are evidence of an unusual strength in a very young woman. They are evidence of Celie's painful struggle to hold on — despite all of the multiple horrors of her life. Celie is about to go into adolescence, believing that she was raped by her father and that he killed both of their children.
She writes to God because she has no one else to help her bear this terrible knowledge. What has happened to Celie is so terrible that she can talk about it only to someone who she feels loves her. Of course, her sister, Nettie, loves her, but Nettie is too young to understand what terrible things have happened to Celie.
Only to God can Celie talk honestly and openly about the hell that she has suffered. And this point is important: Celie is not complaining to God. She simply needs to talk to someone — someone whom she loves and trusts and someone who she feels loves her. Celie's instinct for survival, however, is more solid than even Celie realizes.
She was born into a poor family; her mother was ill much of the time later, we find out that she was mentally ill as well ; there were too many children in the family; and then Celie was victimized by the man who she believed was her father.
Celie feels used, and she feels that she is a victim, and she doesn't understand why all this has happened to her. She doesn't complain; she simply wonders why. In fact, so many bad things have happened to Celie that she feels worthless.
She has very little self-worth and self-esteem. You should notice that she doesn't even sign her letters to God. Normally, most people take pride in signing their names; our name is one of the first things we learn to write. This is not true of Celie. Her self-worth is so miniscule that she does not even sign her own name.
Slowly, Celie will mature into a woman of enormous confidence — but not before her beloved sister Nettie is taken from her and not before she herself is married to a cruel man who really wanted to marry Nettie. For a time, Celie is more a slave to her husband than she is a wife. And then a near-miracle happens.
Her husband's mistress, Shug, comes to the house to recuperate and Celie becomes her nurse.
By nature, Shug is a strong woman; men don't tangle with Shug, unless she wants them to — in bed. As Shug grows stronger physically, and as Celie nurses her, Shug encourages Celie to grow stronger psychologically. Similarly, Celie's daughter-in-law Sofia shows Celie how to stand up to men and how to stand up to prejudice and injustice — and fight.
It isn't easy for Celie to learn how to verbalize her independence, and it is harder still for her to act on these new concepts, but after she discovers how intentionally cruel her husband has been to her, she rebels and throws off her role as a slave to her husband.
By the end of the novel, Celie's newfound strength, as well as her ever-enduring love for Nettie, pays off. All through the years, she has kept the memory of Nettie alive, despite the fact that there was no proof that Nettie was alive. Nettie not only is alive, but she helped raise Celie's two children, and when the book ends, Celie and Nettie and Celie's two children, now grown, are reunited.
Despite all the odds, Celie held on.
She learned to fight, to stand up for herself, and she was rewarded. She never gave up on her love for Nettie, nor did she give up on her love for God.Alice Walker walked through the fire to give us The Color Purple. Essence magazine is said to have refused to run an excerpt, and Ishmael Reed led the charge to brand her as a man-hater.
Literary discussions inspired by the novel often devolved into shouting matches, split along gender lines. The Color Purple is a epistolary novel by American author Alice Walker which won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the National Book Award for Fiction.
 [a] It was later adapted into a film and musical of the same ashio-midori.comher: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. Alice Walker’s The Color Purple: The Color Purple, by Alice Walker, is a very intense book to read. By intense, it is a book touching very difficult and hard aspects of life of a poor, black oppressed woman in the early twentieth century.
Alice Walker is one of the most famous and beloved writers of our time, and this is largely due to the novel The Color Purple. Born on February 9, , Walker was the youngest of eight children. Alice Walker walked through the fire to give us The Color Purple. Essence magazine is said to have refused to run an excerpt, and Ishmael Reed led the charge to brand her as a man-hater.
Literary discussions inspired by the novel often devolved into shouting matches, split along gender lines. Celie A young black Georgia girl who faces adulthood believing that she has been raped by her father and that he killed both of their ashio-midori.com novel examines her struggle to find love, self-esteem, and continuing courage despite harsh setbacks.
Nettie Celie's .
|The Characters||Raped at 14 by her own father and then forced into a marriage with a cruel older man, Celie learns to be quiet and submissive.|