The Color Purple PR

The Color Purple is a book that stood out to me compared to all the novels we read. It is a story with a “good” ending which already was a surprise considering Mr. MacKnight’s trend of giving us the most morbid pieces of literature he could find. It was also a very oddly composed novel, written in letters from the protagonist Celie to god. these letters would often be no more than a couple pages long and could be written days or months apart. At first this was also quite a surprise and me and other students voiced our concerns in our class discussions about whether we would be able to have any idea what was going on in the book with such a limited style. It also had the viewpoint of two protagonists, The sisters Celie and Nettie. this was something that surprised me mostly because it came out of nowhere, I did not expect much of the book would be from Nettie’s point of view even after being introduced to it, but a significant portion of the second half of the book is the letters Nettie writes to Celie.

Where I find that the book stands out the most though, is the fact that it succeeded to interest me. I am not a person of change, I generally hate it. If I have to switch between studying math and English, I struggle, ending a book series and trying to start a new one, I struggle. I thought it would apply to a situation like this where I am too familiar with the books we have been reading, but the change this book brings is refreshing. I enjoyed the ending as it felt like everyone got what they deserved. Celie, after working hard for so long and enduring hardships deserved a husband and family who could at least appreciate all of this, Nettie, always being a good sister, got to travel, and learn. Whereas Alphonso met an end which finally benefitted the two girls, giving them the family home. This gave a sense of closure that was much warmer than A Dolls House or Pygmalion, where the closure is the separation of the main characters. Although as I mentioned I was skeptical of the format of the book, I quickly got used to it and liked it too. It was not all too different to a regular first person narrative, just a little more sporadic. First person is my favourite point of view in stories as it helps me relate with the protagonist and understand the story. I also read a lot of first person stories as a kid like the Rick Riordan novels so it is also more comfortable (in the end being less change than I realized). Finally the dual protagonist idea worked because of the letter writing format. Celie is writing letters to god? how about we add a few letters of Nettie writing letters to Celie! It just works. it doesn’t break some kind of fourth wall where suddenly you’ve teleported from one brain to another, its like reading an exchange of letters, which is what it is.

In conclusion I enjoyed The Color Purple regardless of how much it deviated from what we normally read. it managed to captivate me with its style, and leave me content with its ending. Whether it was the work of Alice Walker or just the right book for me I am not sure but regardless I am inspired to read more books like it.

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