Essay on Alice Walker’s the Color Purple: Empowerment and Resilience

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Imagine yourself not being able to see with two eyes, but one. The author who has written many novels, short stories, proms, and essays about Civil and Women Right had experienced this hardship. Being different from everyone, she grew with she transformed being different to a talent of writing down her thoughts and imagination. Her talent if writing accomplished many works. This paper is about Alice Walker, her greatest work The Color Purple, and what critical evaluations had to say about her.

Alice Walker being the youngest out of eight children was born in Eatonton, Georgia on February 9, 1944 (Alice Malsenior). Walker grew up in a small house with extreme weather. Walker was uncomfortable with the weather and the spaces was hard to fight the seasons. Willie Lee (Alice Walker), Walker’s mother worked as a seamstress. Minnie Tallulah Grant Walker, Walker’s father worked as a sharecropper (Alice Malsenior) earning $300 yearly. Walker enjoyed what she called “people watching”. Walker called herself a tomboy because she enjoys being around her brothers. Walker stop being a tomboy, and her career started at age eight due to being shot in the eye by her brother (Alice Malsenior). In 1958 Alice disfiguring scar tissue in her eye was removed (Shackelford). Her brothers was afraid and had Walker to lie so that no one gets in trouble. Walker called the scar “hideous white scar”). The accident caused her to be blind, loneliness (Alice Malsenior) and kept poetry in her thoughts. Walker was afraid if she wrote it down on paper her brother would destroyed it (Cummings). One of Walker memory as a child was going to segregated school with great teacher. Her community encourage her to accept herself and to decide who she is.

Walker was in class of 1961 as prom queen and class valedictorian (Alice Walker). Walker earned a scholarship in Atlanta to Spelman College (Alice Malsenior) and it was the first black college (Alice Walker). The ending of freshman year at Spelman College she was invited by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, Civil rights leader, to attend in Helsinki; Finland at the youth world Peace Festival (Cummings) at age twenty (Gentry et al). In 1963 Alice received another scholarship in New York to Sarah Lawrence. As a junior she transferred to study in Africa (Alice Malsenior). Walker was her mother findest hope out of seven brothers. In Africa she was pregnant, but she knew her parents hope would be destroyed (Gentry et al). The unexpected pregnancy that took her to almost suicide; Walker was able to perform a illegal abortion (Alice Walker). Walker slept with a blue razor for a week thinking about is she slash her hands off to solve problem. Walker stated to dream about Africa about her on the beat hearing and seeing beautiful animals. Walker then started to write (Gentry et al). After graduating from Sarah Lawrence with honors Alice worked in new York City and published Meridian (Alice Walker). Walker first job begin in Georgia in the voter registration with the Head Start Organization in Jackson, Mississippi (Alice Malsenior). During the summer Walk join NAACP Legal Defense Fund. It is an organization that helps to fight and freedom to the blacks in segregationist South (Alice Walker). In 1967 Walker met and married a lawyer name Melvyn Leventhal. They divorced in 1976 with one child name Rebecca (Alice Malsenior). Her commitment to helping black women was further demonstrated in her literacy. Walker build a 13 year relationship with Robert Allen (Alice Walker).

Walker first published piece in her poetry collection is called Once in 1968. In 1969 Walker was awarded by the national Endowment in Arts. In 1970 her work and teachings went world wide. Walker transfer to Tougaloo College and wrote her first novel called Third Life of Grange Copeland, and end up teaching there in 1917 (Alice Malsenior). In 1912 to 1973 Walker migrated North and started at Wellesley College and the University of Massachusetts at Boston. In 1973 Walker wrote her first short story called In Love and Trouble: Stories of Black Women and her second poetry; Revolutionary Petunias (Alice Malsenior). In 1971 to 1973 Walker won a Radcliffe Institute Fellowship, Rosenthal Foundation, and an American Academy. In 1974 Walker earn a award for Institute of Arts and letters from the book In Love and Trouble (Alice Malsenior). In 1976 Walker published her second novel Meridian. The novel was award in 1977 to 1978 by the Guggenheim. In 1978 she added another poem to her collection called Goodnight, Willie Lee, I’ll See You In The Morning (Alice Malsenior). In 1982 You Can’t Keep A Good Woman Down was added to her third novel called The Color Purple. With this novel she won a Pulitzer Prize along with the American Book Award. In 1983 Alice wrote In Search of Our Mother’s Garden: A Collection of Womanist Prose was add to her essay collections (Alice Malsenior). The Color Purple gave Walker many opportunities. Walker accepted many job offers at Universities and Colleges. The Color Purple did not become the most bestseller, but Alice allowed the movie rights to it. The Color Purple was filmed by Steven Spielberg (Cummings). In 1985 The Color Purple was made as an American dramatic film. The film focused on rural Southern United States of African American Women (The).

The novel, The Color Purple is a story told through letters from God One of the letter said, “you better not never tell nobody but God. It’d kill your mother.” The main character who was fourteen year old Celie was raped by her father who looks too much at Nettie, her little sister. Celie had a son and a daughter, but her father took them away from her. A man called Mr. was interested in Nettie but Pa rejects. Celie soon then took picture with Mr and he falls in love with her. Pa offered a cow from Mr and take Celie instead of Nettie. After marriage Celie was physical abuse by Mr. Celie has a daughter Olivia and ask Nettie to be the mother. Mr had kicked Nettie out due to rejection and running away from home. Both sisters could not do anything, but to send letters which Celie never received for any replies. Mr’s son Harpo marries Sofia but soon argued that she disobeys. Celie convinces Hapo to physically abuse Sofia, but Celie came to know is envious of Sofia. Mr has been seeing a lady her name is Shug Avery. Mr never allowed Celie to greet her. Celie learned to love herself and to love someone through Shug. Mr brought Shug home because she was ill. Celie has to take care of Shug until she felt better. During the time Shug had compose two songs, “A Good Man Is Hard To Find” and a song for Celie called “Cellie’s Song,” Shug wanted Celie to perform the two song and Celie felt the feeling of how important someone is. When Shug was not ill anymore she made sure that Mr will not physically beat Celie anymore. Shug had called Mr name, Albert when she left. Sofia has a new man with six kids, and she returned back to Harpo. Hapro young girlfriend who he called “Squeaks” fought with Sofia until she leaves. Sofia was asked by the mayor’s wife to be her maid. Sofia rejects and hits the mayor when he argued. Sofia was sent to prison. Squeaks now takes ares f Sofia’s children's. Squeaks finds out that the Warden is her Uncle, so she seeks freedom for Sofia. One thing Squeak had to so is to have sexual intercourse with him. Doing this will help Sofia free and to become the mayor slave. Squeak was furious and humiliated when returning home. Squeak told her husband to call her by her real name, Mary Anges. Shug and Celie met after Shug got married. They both found out that they missed each other. One night Celie tells Shug about her life when their husband went away. After telling her life Shug decides to kiss Celie and they both make love. Together Celie and Shug finds out Mr has been hiding the sister letters in his truck. Celie God letters was written in English Standard. One day Nettie decides to leave, but Mr tied to rape her. Unsuccessfully he failed but he promised that there would not be anything of her sister again. Nettie met Celie other son Adam and went to see Olivia’s other mother Corrine. Her husband Reverend Samuel was a member of Missionary Society. In New York she discovers is Harlen which was one of African culture. Nettie went to England, Senegal, and then Africa with Samuel. When they arrive and meet Olinkains They thought Adam and Oliva was Nettie and Sam’s children's. Olivia was the only educated girl there. Corrine became envous and told Nettie to knowledge the kids to not all her mama. Olivia had a best friend, Tashi was forbid to go to school until after her father passed away she was allowed to. In five years living in Africa Adam and Olivia have discover slave trades and African stories. The roads are getting closer to the Olinkas and the roads are getting closer to the Olinkas and that would cause danger. The chief finds out after traveling to the coast that the Olinkas are in position of them. Nettie and Samuel told Corrine the truth about who is Adam and Olivia parents are. Corrine did not believe that Nettie Pa is Olivia father. Celie write to Nettie for the first time and pays a visit with Shug to visit Pa. During the time there Celie read Nettie letters Pa hidden letters. Shortly after Corrine passed away. After reading the letter Celie, Shug, and Mary Agnes leaves Mr. Celie told Mr everything he did was for himself. The three women traveled and sings. Celie soon the opens her own Folk Pants business. Celie returns home and notice Mr has changed. He cooked and cleaned. Harpo explains that his dad has changed because of her letters. Celie inherited Pa house and money. For his ceremony Celie sold her pants there. Shug has left Celie alone and lonely. Celie last letter ever received talked about her son Adam married Tashi. Celie and Shug are together again after she rejects Mr. Sofia and Harpo are together. Nettie, Samuel, and her kids are home (The Marie).

The setting for The Color Purple is in 1910-1940 in Rural Georgia (SparkNotes) at the of WWII (The Sara). The historical novel contains factual events, little dates, few details of character ages (SparkNotes), but the film only took some dates for reference (The Sara). Part of the novel took place in Africa and learning the Olkans culture (SparkNotes). Fleming the interior were two-story house and exterior was a farm (The Sara).

Adam is Celie son who was adopted by Reverend Samuel and was reunited with Celie as a grown man. Albert or Mr bought Celie from her stepfather. Albert father disagree about his son choice and talks bad about Shug. Alphonso, Celie’s stepfather. Many Agnes or Squeak is Hapo second wife. Shug Avery a singer who has help changed Celie life. Addie Beasley was Nettie and Celie teacher. Carrie is Celie step aunt. Celie is the main character of the novel. Corrine is the step mother of Celie childerns. Grady is Shug husband. Harpo is Albert son and father of six kids. Warden Tom Hodges is the police officers who took Sofia. Kate was Albert siter. Mama is Celie mother who become il. Mayor putted Sofia in jail due to insulting. Mr is Celie husband who abused her. Nettie is Celie younger sister. Olivia is Celie daughter. Prizefighter was Sofia new boyfriend to make Harpo jealous. Sofia is Harpo wife who leaves him, but returns afterwards. Swain was the music performer at jukepoint. Tashi is Adam wife. Tobias is Mr bother who help him take care of Shung (The Marie).

The two themes of the novel The Color Purple (SparkNotes) movies on disappointments to create strong self- confidence (The Sara). The first theme is the strong love of a female relationship (SparkNotes). Celie strength was shown by being raped and victimized to protect her sister Nettie (The Sara). The second theme is the hatred of race and sexism (SparkNotes). Shug’s power was that she had told many women together (The Sara).

This novel is explained through Celie voice in first person. It tells the life story of a thirty year life of an independent African American went through. The symbol is hope of each black person just like Celie (The Marie). “Sophie Walk” this song supported the women strength and control of life in scenes of Nettie letters. Two songs that were meant to inspire the audience was “Miss Celie’s Blues”and “Maybe God Is Trying To Tell You Sometin’.” The strong family males the mood a response form the audience (The Sara). The tone of each letter tells sharply. They were not sad letters, but letters of hope (The Marie). The costume has base on rural south in twentieth century (The Sara).

Walker theme is to focus on black women who controls their life with self knowledge and love. This is a novel that presents a beautiful selection of her work. Her publication dates, her life, and bibliography were all arranged in chronological order. Her mentor, Zora Neale Hurston was the footsteps she took of when writing (Shackelford).

The Color Purple not only showed the suffering of Celie, but the happiness in her life. Her sister and Shug were the two women who comforted her in her lifetime. The audience was wrenching when they both separated. No matter how fat they were apart, help one another to survive, rapes, beating, and subjugation. It shows us the strength to endure. The Color Purple results tells us the suffering and how a sister love can cure all (The Sara).

The Color Purple proceeded Walker arts. Her excellent arts placed in the Faulkner Company. Being part of the company she managed to shift from first person to a naive character Celie the 14-years-old. With her experience and for us to understand she never gave up the southern fictional tradition. She made it all her own and knowledge us all (Alice Malsenior). “The first time I saw it. I was in this theater with about two other people, and it looked funny. It sounded funny, and i thought everyone was a cartoon. So i went into the premier thinking “This is a brave thing to do since you think this is very terrible film.’ With hundreds of other people, it was a wonderful film. I really enjoyed it. It’s not the book but the fact is Quincy Jones and Steven Spielberg did try their best. They love it and they worked really hard,” Alice said to her critics (Whitaker).

Alice Walker literature The Color Purple inspired many with her art. Walker might not experience the same thing as Celie did, but Walker deliver her messages for her readers through her characters and dialogues. Walker hidden talent and achievements define her who is she present day. No matter how different you can be or how different everyone thinks, everyone has their own audience and hidden talent.  

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Essay on Alice Walker's The Color Purple: Empowerment and Resilience. (2021, Apr 18). Retrieved September 25, 2023 , from

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