Literary Essay Sample on The Color Purple by Alice Walker

Published: 2018-08-21
Literary Essay Sample on The Color Purple by Alice Walker
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Writing Literature Alice Walker
Pages: 3
Wordcount: 570 words
5 min read

The Color Purple book review

Written by feminist Alice Walker, the book Color Purple” is an epistolary story whose plot describes the life of an African-American woman in the early 1900’s and whose journey to self-discovery is well elaborated. The story of the book “Color Purple” is told from Celie’s, the protagonist, point of view and describes her as a vulnerable and abused fourteen-year-old black girl who addresses all her letters to “Dear God.” Shortly after her mother’s death, Celie’s father marries her off to Mr___. Celie continues to live a miserable life at Mr___’s place until her younger sister Nettie comes to live with her. After Nettie’s short stay with Celie, Mr___ decides to drive her away, and this leaves Celie a subservient and an infertile young woman, who does not see anything good in herself after being separated from Nettie, the only person she was sure, loved her. Later, Mr ___ brings home his sickly mistress, Shug, who Celie begins to love and get close to. The presence of Shug in Celie’s life opens all sorts of doors for Celie, and she begins to realize that she, too, is beautiful. Now being a strong independent woman, Celie decides to leave Mr ___and moves to Chicago with Shug. Here, she spreads her wings, and she opens her own tailor shop. Towards the end of the book, the two sisters Nettie and Celie have a beautiful reunion and it is clear that they have just begun the best years of their lives (Cliff Notes). Despite being an award-winning novel that is enjoyed by many, the book “The Color Purple” by Alice Walker was banned shortly after its publication by various schools and educational institutions for a number of reasons such as violence, obscene language, physical abuse and racism; therefore, it cannot be read in many schools across the country.

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There are several passages of the book that justify the main objections in the posed challenges against the book. For instance, violence and physical abuse are clearly depicted in the scenes where Celie falls pregnant twice by her father Alfonso, forcing her to drop out of school. Additionally, those scenes in the passage where Celie is married off to Mr___ at a very tender age and is also mistreated and left miserable, also exemplify the main objections that saw the ban of this particular book. Moreover, vulgar and obscene language is illustrated in the passage where the author describes the unrelenting structure of sex roles through describing Shug a sultry lounge singer who was also Mr___’s mistress and also the many other women who were married by Harpo, after Sofia, his wife, went to prison (Walker).

Conversely, passages of the book such as Shug empowering Celie into a strong independent woman, the reunion and the success of the two sisters, Nettie and Celie and also the strength, self-confidence, and faith depicted in Nettie as a strong independent African woman, merit value and support the theme of the book. Through these three passages, the author clearly develops the theme ‘Feminism.’

Works Cited

Cliff Notes. "Book Summary." CliffsNotes Study Guides | Book Summaries, Test Preparation & Homework Help | Written by Teachers, 2016, Accessed 27 Oct. 2016.

Walker, Alice. The Color Purple: A Novel. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1982.

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