Exploring Relationships in the Color Purple

The Color Purple, by Alice Walker, uses strong female relationships to bring attention to the importance of females supporting each other in a oppressive patriarchy. To this day men are the ones with more power because of their aggressive nature to be the best in order to survive and get what they want. Women, on the other hand, have always been controlled and weaker sex in the eyes of a man.

This, unfortunately, put women in a place where they were put last and seen as incapable of living in this world without the protection of a man. In order for women to survive in a world of oppression and male dominance, they must come together and form relationships with other women so that they can find the confidence to tell their story and slowly step out of the sexist light that shines on them. Female relationships come in many forms in The Color Purple, such as a motherly or sisterly connection, romantic, and friendships. Walker uses the relationship of Shug Avery and Celie, who both experience male violence and oppression from their husband, to demonstrate the importance and power a female relationship can have. Shug Avery, a more independent woman who lives by her own laws, helps encourage Celie who is a silenced, objectified wife who is treated like a slave by her husband, to not only defy male dominance but create a life where she uses her own capabilities to find out who she is. Shug Avery and Celie become romantically involved which helps Celie realize that she is worthy and that sexual abuse is not the only lifestyle.

Their relationship helps reveal that in a world of violence, oppression, and despair there is a light. The light is a relationship that consists of passion. A woman’s identity is important to oneself and it helps them recognize the way they are being treated and how they are capable of more than what a man says they are. It also helps to establish an independence in their community and self-worth. If it wasn’t for Celie’s relationship with Shug Avery and her sister she would have never transformed from a weak girl to an independent, courageous and confident women. The achievements of gender equality throughout time are because women have come together as a united front to influence and change the community for a better lifestyle.

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Exploring Relationships in The Color Purple. (2019, Jul 09). Retrieved October 24, 2021 , from

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