The Color Purple by Alice Walker - Color Purple

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					    The Color Purple by Alice Walker

                                The Color Purple

Celie is a poor black woman whose letters tell the story of 2 0 years of her
life, beginning at age 14 when she is being abused and raped by her father
and attempting to protect her sister from the same fate, and continuing
over the course of her marriage to Mister, a brutal man who terrorizes her.
Celie eventually learns that her abusive husband has been keeping her
sisters letters from her and the rage she feels, combined with an example
of love and independence provided by her close friend Shug, pushes her
finally toward an awakening of her creative and loving self.

* Notes:

Celie is the narrator of this novel, she tells her story through her private
letters to God. Why God? Well, at fourteen years of age, her father
continuously abuses her, has twice impregnated her, and has twice taken
her baby away. He tells her that, "she'd better not tell nobody but God."

Her letters to God, and later in the novel, to her sister, consistently remind
the reader that Celie is uneducated, and both poor in spirit and resources.

Celie is eventually given to a man, known only to Celie as, Mister. Mister
and Celie are married, and Celie endures more physical and mental
abuse. Throughout the story, women are abused and oppressed. They all
pay in different ways to break the cycle of dominance and violence.
Through female relationships, they are eventually able to re-invent
themselves and gain self worth.

In one of her letters to her sister, Celie talks about a conversation that she
has had with Shug (her husband's lover). Celie has finally denounced
God, and has decided not to write to him anymore. However, Shug helps
Celie to re-imagine God, not as a white bearded man, but as an "it". This
"it" is not something that she can describe in a picture li ke way, but
explains that "it" is everything. Everything that is, ever was, or ever will be.
Shug says that she feels like she is a part of this "everything" and is
separate from nothing. Shug tells her that her God wants people to
appreciate what it has created, and that it gets pissed when people don't
take notice of things, like the color purple in a field somewhere. Shug
explains that even when God is pissed, he just makes something else for
us to enjoy, because it is always trying to please us. I think that this is the
turning point in the novel and this is when Celie starts to take control of her
own life.

THE COLOR PURPLE is a novel that has sat on my "to-be-read" pile for
years. It was a pleasure to read, and I wish it hadn't taken me so long to
pick it up.

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