‘The Color Purple’ by Alice Walker is a novel which discusses and narrates issues concerning gender inequalities, discrimination and racism within a community based in South America, in the early 1900’s. The main character in the novel Celie is a young black woman abused and violated by close members of her family such as, her father and her husband. The novel raised questions to the readers, making them eager to know why didn’t Celie tell her mother what her father had been doing to her. Another question to readers is: did Celie really wanted to protect her sister or was she doing that for herself? This is understood differently by each reader who gets to read the novel, and in my opinion she was protective and caring to her sister.
I. Epistolary novel
a) The Color Purple is narrated by a number of diary entries and letters, that’s why it’s described as an epistolary novel. What are the advantages and disadvantages of such structures for the novel?
b) The author of the book Alice Walker tried to put the novel in such a way that the readers may see and understand the novel in their own point of view. One can realize that without the use of epistolary in the novel, the story and theme of the novel would have sounded differently.
II. Vulgarity, violence, racism and discrimination
a) From the introduction of the novel one can realize that vulgar language and violence are experienced by Celie because her father is the one abusing her.
b) The main questions that puzzled me after reading the novel were: what is the main purpose of vulgarity, violence, racism and discrimination in the novel? Is it unfair to use these words when describing the novel?
c) Are the readers supposed to notice the agony of the characters in the novel and understand their life situation? And what are the author’s intentions or the message that the author is trying to convey?
d) Rape is the main kind of abuse that strains women and silences them, this is seen where Celie is raped by her father and also when Mr. tried to rape Nettie.
e) Women were being mistreated and applied as animals as the novels describes them, as to Sofia and Celie experience a life of brutality and mistreat from their husbands.
III. Ignorance and irresponsible
a) Celie being the main character is using ignorance and irresponsibility as a form of protection to herself, she avoids sharing her story to the public, being afraid of what her father will do to her.
b) The way she accepts her father to take her children away after birth shows how irresponsible she is, not concerned of where the children are, by assuming that they are dead.
IV. Values of The Color Purple
a) The novel explains and shows how Celie was motivated and inspired by Shug Avery lifestyle. How does Shug Avery contribute to the transformation of Celie’s life?
b) This tackles and challenges the sense of thinking of readers pushing and making them curious to know the chemistry on how Shug Avery inspired Celie to change her way of life.