PR The Color Purple

The Color purple by Alice Walker shows the harsh struggles of living as a poor black woman in the early 19thcentury. The book raises many questions from a variety of global issues. We follow the character Celie and watch her develop and change while she experiences racism, sexism, religion love, etc.… The color purple is not written as your regular novel, instead, it is written in the form of letters to God and her sister Nettie.

I find the way that this book is written creates an intimate experience for the reader. the way that the nook is written in the form of personal letters that Celie is writing or reading, along with the fact that we see follow a drastic change in Celie’s character at the start of the book compared to the end. At the beginning of the book, Celie feels as though she has very little integrity or strength after all the traumatic experiences she has gone through. We see this when Celie tells Sofia “I say is cause I’m a fool. I say it cause I’m jealous of you. I say it because you do what I can’t. (p,39) Another thing I noticed is that she also does not sign her letters as if she is embarrassed to put her name beside what she is writing. Towards the end of the book, she begins to build confidence in herself, she leaves Mr.___/ Albert to live with Shug and ends up working for herself once Shug gave her the idea to produce pants since Celie’s pants were the most comfortable and everyone in her band eventually wanted some, and then the community. All of this leads up to her owning her own house, becoming friends with Albert, and reconnecting with her lost sister Nettie. The development of Celie’s character truly personalizes Celie’s character and makes the reader feel more connected with the story.

Religion interested me from the beginning of this book. The majority of Celie’s letters start with the words Dear God. Celie’s relationship with God is what seems to keep her going throughout this book. God is the only person Celie feels she can truly completely open up and talk to about some of her tragic experiences. Celie does not have a voice at the beginning of the book and the only way she is able to express herself is through writing to God. In the beginning, I thought that by the end of the book Celie may become fed up with God not actually helping her while all these horrible things continue to happen to her. But instead, Celie expresses that this is not why she talks to God, instead she all she wants is someone to talk to. It’s interesting to see how God is seen differently for each person. What’s the reason that people worship this God when they have never heard or seen him personally.

I believe that we all believe in something. Whether you believe in it to help coap with something or because you agree with what it stands for. Any God can be viewed in a different way’s through other people, so what’s right or wrong may begin to not matter, if you think religion is wrong from something that it stands for, another person may find it great because of something they see in it that you aren’t focused on. Just because you believe in something does not mean that you must be committed to anything and everything that goes on within it.

Personal Response to The Colour Purple

Why is the title The Colour Purple?

 

The book The Colour Purple by Alice Walker is a book about love, hate, joy, and pain, and suffering. Celie’s (The protagonist) life throughout the story seems to be nothing but tragedy. The book also expresses beauty and love, like with Celie and Shug, and Harpo and Sofia’s relationship. Yet it seems to me that everything ends in tragedy, pain, and nothing seems to last forever. The title of this book seems to express beauty and love with the colour purple being a rare and vibrant colour that symbolizes these things.  

 

It is said that God created all colours and gave them their significances in nature with green, blue, and yellow being the most common, and purple is one of the rarest colours, and it one of the most beautiful colours in nature and to be admired. The colour purple can tie in to love with being rare and beautiful and it is said that God will get mad if you walk past purple in a field “I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don’t notice it” (pg. 195). Since purple is rare in nature, God will get mad since he made it all. Purple is also referred to as beautiful in the book “She like a queen to me so I say to Kate, Somethin purple, maybe little red in it too.” (pg. 20). She refers purple to as being beautiful and a colour that makes someone look good.        

 

Why is the title called The Colour Purple? I believe it is titled that because no matter how bad the situation is, there will always be those beautiful moments that we need to cherish forever and admire so we can look back at those moments and adapt to the low moments that’ll come in life and move past it.

The Colour Purple: Personal Response

The Color Purple by Alice Walker is an informative book, but it raises many questions. One of the most important questions is whether this book is suitable for high school English courses. This novel vividly describes the struggle women experience in abusive and toxic families.It deals with serious topics such as incest, marital abuse, racism and sexism. It also includes domestic violence and politics. I was very surprised when I saw the choice of language the author used, “I feel my nipples harden under my dress. My little button sort of perk up too” (Page 80). It was really graphically written. It talks about sex education because even as an adult you don’t know much about your body. 

 

Celie goes through a rollercoaster of emotions, and the way she writes it in her letters makes the audience feel like they are there with her. I think it is important to understand sex education before reading this novel. Compassion and understanding of the struggle the character faces are also important. “First he put his thing up against my hip and sort of wiggle it around” (Page 1). Due to lack of sex education, people might find this situation funny. It is rather classified as abuse and assault. Our thought process is developed at an early stage, we must recognize the impact violence, harassment, and abuse has on others. Logically speaking, our mentality and habits reflect our behavior towards others. If we can distinguish between the right and wrong ways of treating others early, it will be better for our future selves. The book also includes historical fiction set in different parts of the world. However, he novel might be more beneficial for history students, since they would learn about the political treatment of African Americans. The way injustice towards African Americans is described made me furious. It brought out emotions in me that I didn’t know I could feel. Basically, don’t be an idiot. 

 

 

The Color Purple Personal Response

The Color Purple by Alice Walker helped me expand and question  my own idea of religion. Celie has a drastic change as a character, and how her idea of religion and God changes. When Celie is first introduced, Walker depicts her as a naïve, scared, and passive girl. She allows life to push her down, and doesn’t push back. She doesn’t have anyone close to her except for her sister, Nettie. While Celie continues to float through life, she slowly gets introduced to stronger female characters. These women didn’t allow life to take advantage of them, and they helped Celie become more in tune with herself. Whether that had to do with her sexual wellbeing, her self image, and her religious beliefs.

At first, Celie doesn’t have a very open idea of God, “He big and old and tall and graybearded and white” (p.193). In response, Shug opens up to Celie, saying that to Shug, God is an “it” (p.194) rather than an old white man. Because of Celie’s love and admiration for Shug, she takes this idea into consideration. After this conversation, Celie becomes more active in her life. She leaves her abusive marriage, starts a business, and gains property. She becomes fully independent. Religion needs to be fluctuating. This is because we, as humans, need something to believe in, whether it’s fully committing to one religion or not. We love labels, but just like sexuality, some people don’t want labels, specifically on their religious beliefs. Possibly because we don’t really know what we believe in, or we can’t decide, or we change, and can’t commit to one. This is one struggle Celie was dealing with throughout these letters. She was born in a society where there was only one way of thinking, and if you cannot meet these guidelines, you’re a sinner. Early in the novel, Celie expressed guilt for not being able to commit emotionally to the society’s version of God. “Couldn’t be mad at my daddy cause he my daddy. Bible say, Honor father and mother no matter what” (p.41). This version of God harmed Celie more than guided her and healed her. A religion should be something that helps you become a better person, not to restrict and shame you. Therefore, once Shug introduced the idea of being able to choose your own God, and choose your own beliefs, she started having more motivation and ambition. Something to live for, something to prove.

I believe that we all have our own religion, whether or not, society accepts it as one. We all have something or someone we believe in, we all have a small idea of where we might go when we die, and have some moral code of what’s right or wrong. And we don’t need to label ourselves or fully commit to one idea of God. Just like Celie, we need to stop trying to fit into society, and be able to change the guidelines that are restricting us negatively.

Personal Response to The Color Purple

In The Color Purple, Alice Walker provides us with valuable insights into both Celie and Mr. ____, as they progress through and conquer their toxic relationship. First, she does so by humanizing Mr. ____ through his actions, emotions, and progression of identity. Second, she does this using their relationship as a benchmark of where Celie is in her personal growth. Walker uses the relationship between Celie and Mr. ____ to depict a conventional, patriarchal relationship. Then, she shows the readers what can happen when that toxic relationship is broken. 

In this novel, Walker humanizes Mr. _____ using his vulnerability, his similarities to Celie, and his change from “Mr. _____”  to “Albert” in Celie’s eyes. For the majority of this book, Mr. ____ is an incredibly dislikeable character. He acts as the ultimate authoritarian patriarch: abusive, controlling, stoic. His actions are often inhumane, causing the reader to feel little to no sympathy for him. However, amidst his atrocious behaviour, Walker inserts small moments of vulnerability to humanize him. First, as he’s ordering Celie and Harpo to work, Celie describes, “​​He tired. He sad. He weak. He cry. Then he sleep the rest of the day and night” (p. 26). According to patriarchal standards, men aren’t allowed to express their sadness. They are required to remain strong and stoic. Therefore, Mr. ____ is converting this depression into anger, abusiveness, and authoritarianism. Though this does not excuse his actions whatsoever, this quotation does provide some depth of character. Another vulnerability of Mr.____’s is shown when his dad comes to visit. Immediately, his dad begins criticizing him and Shug Avery, causing tension (pp. 54-55). Mr. ____ feels attacked by his father on the basis of someone he loves, which causes him and Celie to feel “the closest [they] ever felt” (p. 55). When the two are on the same side, against his father, they feel most united. This leads to another vulnerability of Mr.____’s, which he also shares with Celie: his love for Shug Avery. Around Shug, Mr. ____ is an entirely different person. Because of his deep-rooted love for her, his emotional vulnerability is most prominent around her. As he says to Celie, “Nobody fight for Shug, he say. And a little water come to his eyes” (p. 48). Walker shows us these moments of vulnerability to demonstrate that underneath his toxic facade, he is human. Due to his love for Shug Avery, Celie and him are able to bond later in the novel. When Shug has her fling with Germaine, Celie describes, “Mr. ____ seem to be the only one understand my feeling” (p. 259). Because of this similarity between Celie and Mr. _____, along with their shared passion for sewing (p. 273), they start to become friends. They discuss Shug, they discuss their failed marriage, they discuss Nettie. Eventually, Celie stops calling him “Mr. _____”, and starts calling him “Albert” (p. 284). This change is the ultimate expression of humanization. Instead of using “Mr. ___”, which expresses detachment and formality, she uses “Albert”, which expresses familiarity and amiability. Walker’s humanization of Albert is essential to this story, as it helps us understand the relationship between Celie and him.

Throughout The Color Purple, Walker uses Celie’s relationship with Mr. ____ to reveal Celie’s stage in her personal growth. At the beginning of the novel, Celie allows Mr. ____ to completely walk over her. She rationalizes his abuse, claiming that, “he my husband” (p. 42), as if that justifies it. As the novel progresses, she develops her ideas about love and religion and self-respect, with Shug’s help. This development provokes Celie to stand up for herself, and combat Mr. ____’s oppressive behaviours (pp. 199-200, 205-207). Celie leaves that toxic relationship, which proves an increase in her self-worth. She fills her life with love and happiness, as she expresses to Nettie, “I am so happy. I got love, I got work, I got money, friends and time. And you alive and be home soon. With our children” (p. 215). Cutting off ties with Mr. ____ allows her to branch out and explore her relationship with herself. Finally, after Mr. ____ experiences a personal growth of his own, they’re able to reconnect as friends. This indicates her ultimate growth: she has progressed from their toxic relationship, to a separation, to a platonic reconnection founded on mutual respect. Walker uses this evolution as a way to demonstrate how Celie positively progresses as a character.

In this novel, both Celie and Mr. ____ experience incredible growth. Through this, they’re both able to recognize the toxicity in themselves and their relationship. Walker’s demonstration of this development is captivating and encouraging, as it highlights the effects of combating harmful relationships.

Armaan_TCP_Personal Response

What makes a life good?

The Color Purple, by Alice Walker, portrays the beautiful things that God has created for men and women to enjoy in their lives. From the sky to flowers blooming amongst fields, there are many things that bring us comfort. For the women, men were viewed as controlling by most however they are humans as well. The woman who did not allow the men around her to be controlling was Shug Avery. She inspired Celie, Squeak, and others to be stronger. Shug guided the way for women to understand more about God’s desires.

“Trying to chase that old white man out of my head. I been so busy thinking bout him I never truly notice nothing God make. Not a blade of corn (how it do that?) not the color purple (where it comes from?). Not the little wildflowers. Nothing.” (p. 197).

With Celie’s first letters, they seemed to mostly seek help from God rather than acknowledge what God has given her. Celie does not realize the beauty around her for most of the book but as others enter her life she begins to see the world clearly, and adore God for his creation. Later on, in Celie’s letters, she talks about how God and her get along. “I smoke when I want to talk to God. I smoke when I want to make love. Lately I feel like me and God make love just fine anyhow. Whether I smoke reefer or not” (p. 220). She says this to Sofia and Harpo, she speaks honestly about how she feels about God, she no longer writes to him for help but she writes to him for pleasure.

What makes a life good? The idea of a good life differentiates amongst people. Some may want a life on their own, others may want support and friends along the way. We tend to think differently about the world. The Color Purple aims to bring us together and to help us see the world for what it is. We do not all have to believe that our world was created by a God but if we can spend more time to better appreciate it I think that we will all realize how lucky we are to be living such a good life.

Mentality

Men and women are portrayed rather unfairly in The Colour Purple by Alice Walker. Men are characterized as these “sexually hyperactive and dominant idiots,” that view women through the same lens. In other books we have read, such as The Awakening, or A Doll’s House, there are always specific gender roles the characters live by.  Similar to this book, women are supposed to clean, cook, and look after children, and then men are supposed to provide for the family. The novel is full of predictable patterns, toxic relationships, women being enlightened, an awakening, and a shift of tone from suffrage to inspirational. However, why do men and women think differently?

“You got to fight them, Celie. I can’t do it for you. You got to fight them for yourself” (21).  “Beat her” (36). The males try to physically harm women to make them “mind,” violence isn’t the answer to relationships! It makes me wonder how their upbringing differs. Women have a strong sense of justice, whereas men are greedy for power, authority, and acknowledgement. “I don’t fight Sofia battle. My job to love her and take her where she want to go” (81). The prizefighter is content with himself. He is not trying to be dominant, Sofia’s relationship with him is natural and ordinary. Was the prizefighter taught to respect women, unlike Mr.__ who was taught brutality? Harpo is influenced by his father and the types of relationships he has, i.e.., abusive. Something I find very unrealistic in this novel is the way affairs have been normalized. There is rarely any jealousy displayed when one of the characters is having an affair with someone. Basically suggesting that cheating is natural and no one minds.

Even though my blood boiled while reading this book, the character development is remarkable, and I ended up enjoying the last bit of the novel. If I’d have to summarize this book in a sentence, it would be, “things change, people grow.”

 

Personal Response – The Color Purple

This novel is filled with provocative events, ideas, and language that may offend readers. Is it appropriate for a high school English class to study?  

I find that a lot of books I read during English class are boring, and they are all the same, this one started off so horribly, and weird, that it sorts of piqued my interest because not all books start off that way. But that does not talk about the ideas during the books that may offend readers and I still feel as though it should be read in High School English. This is because the story is amazing, I love how this story goes from a horrible, weird, disgusting start to a story that has a nice ending with Celie and Nettie finally meeting together, and Mr.____ (Albert) and Harpo have finally learned how to take on roles inside the house. This story is so good, even though the language and matter may want teachers to not choose this book, and they should overlook these things and still decide to choose this book. 

What is the significance of the novel’s title?  

The significance of the novel’s title is shown at the beginning, middle, and the end of the story. Basically, at the beginning of the story Celie is not able to wear purple clothing, in the middle of the story she sees Shug in a purple dress (which signifies independence) and wants to be like her, and throughout the other third of the story (a bit of the middle and the end) Shug helps Cellie to become more independent and at one point helps Celie create a pants company called Folks Pants Unlimited Company, with Celie slowly becoming more independent and her own person, she makes a pair of pants made from red and purple cloth and gives to Sofia. Then her home at the end of the story is decorated with red and purple decorations, which shows she has become independent.  

Personal Response to Color Purple

“The Color Purple” is an important work of literature. It manages to create suspense within areas that are not as engaging. It provides immense insight into the oppression received by women and how the color of their skin made their problems worse. I thought the author managed to use a literary form, that captures the readers attention right away. I was impressed with the authors ability to create some sort of immediate suspense, to engage the readers.

Some parts of the story I found to be questionable, as the ending did not feel realistic. I am not sure whether two women who were separated at such a young age would see each other again in such happy terms. Especially after the department of defense said one of the sisters’ ship’s had sunk.  However, this may have been the form the author chose to exercise the suspenseful theme just before the end of the story. 

In the introduction, I talked about how the story provides ‘immense insight into the oppression received by women”. Throughout the beginning and the very end of the novel, most if it letters is addressed to God. However, before the story switches to letters being addressed to Celies’ sister Nettie, I noticed how the idea of losing faith was being introduced. On page 176 (new version), I noticed that The letter starts with ‘Dear God”, but it ends with; “You must be sleep”. If I am not interpreting this incorrectly, it seems like Celie is starting to lose faith and feels God is not giving her his fullest attention and protection.  

Also Included within the introduction, I talked about how the author was seemingly exploring the elements of suspense. Before even reading about Celie getting raped by Alphanso, the first element of suspense come from the first sentence. “You better not never tell nobody but god. It’d kill your mammy.” This caused me to wonder what happened and increased my heart rate. Then when I learn the character (didn’t know her name yet) is 14 years, that also raised my internal alarm. When the two words “I am” were crossed out in exchange for “I have always been”, I assumed the phrase meant she had done something wrong. I do wish that more letter edits were made throughout the novel, to make it seem more realistic and personal.

Some questions this novel raises is; Is this an accurate representation of what black female women experienced? I wonder if in real life, sisters would be reunited with each other after so many years apart. This relates to questions about whether the ending is realistic, ar a sort of figment of the authors’ imagination. 

Overall, this novel has a vast amount of emotion put into it, making it compelling to read. I was not overly impressed with this novel in terms of the plot, because it is feels like there are no twists and turns or anything to make me feel excited to read the next chapter. I felt like something awful might happen with every page, whether it was physically or emotionally. 

Personal Response: The Color Purple

Alice Walker’s The Color Purple does not portray men in a good light, but nor does it do for women. Throughout the series of letters, we see how all the characters, regardless of their gender or identity, find peace from simply existing. There is no “good” or “bad” character. However, male characters appears to be more “antagonistic”  in the first half of the novel. They have hurt Celie in different extents as she said, “men look like frogs to me. No matter how you kiss’em, as far as I’m concern, frogs is what they stay.” (p. 254) Throughout almost the entire book, she calls her husband Albert “Mr. _____,” and calls her stepfather Alphonso, “Pa.” She unconsciously neglects their actual names, showing that her heart is sealed from all the oppression from the men in her life. Only at the very end of the book does she forgive him and refers to Albert by his actual name in her letters. By forgiving Albert, Celie positively influences him and “cures” him.

Even though the male characters oppresses and abuses the female characters, they, too, are “spiritual captives.” Albert is not a likeable character because of his hostility towards Celie and lack of respect for women. However, he also deserves the reader’s sympathy. When he shows signs of vulnerability, he is forced to deny it and swallow it up himself. “You better git on back to the field. Don’t wait for me” (p. 26). He is not a masculine and strong character by nature, as Shug often describes him as “weak” (p. 122). But he is forced to exert a masculine dominance over the female characters, often by beating or shaming them. He says to Celie, “Who you think you is?…You can’t cure nobody.” (p. 206) But it turns out Celie is able to influence him. By returning Nettie’s letters to her, he is cured. To focus merely on the negative portrayals of the male characters is to ignore the book’s entire message. The abuser and the abused both need salvation.

Luis_TCP_Personal Response — Draft, Classic editor

Is Walker’s choice to write her novel as a series of letters successful? What are its advantages? What are its disadvantages?

In this work, I will explain how the idea of ​​letters is an interesting and effective idea in the novel “The Color Purple”

The novel “The Color Purple” is certainly a very interesting book. The author does not give us much context of the characters, we only know who they are and that’s it. Also, as can be seen from the book is that it is not written in a traditional way but is written in a way of letters of which there are no exact dates and can also make very large leaps in time. Another very interesting aspect in which the book is written is the language used, the English used is not normal English, it is an English of “African American people” and this English has some variations of the words that are not well written.

This book is narrated from the first person, since they are letters and Celie and Nettie write what happened to her in the first person, being two people who write then it has a double plot since it tells what Celie lives and life also by Nettie. Also, this gives a more fun reading dynamic than a “normal” novel (chapters), since it makes you feel as if the letters were happening at the moment, it also makes you feel closer to the character since you feel like he is sharing the letters with you.

One of the themes presented in the novel is “the power of narrative and voice”. I feel that the author means that feelings and thoughts are crucial in developing a sense of self. This case is very present in how Celie only sends letters to God, due to Alphonso’s threats.

Although the letters are a good idea they have their disadvantages, one of these would be that the letters can be confusing since generally in no work with this style they have exact dates so you get confused and you may not notice the jumps in time and on other occasions it is more difficult to locate the page where you were reading since they are not divided by chapters.

In conclusion, in my opinion, a novel that is written like this gives many entertaining aspects to the novel due to the aforementioned advantages, it feels closer to the characters and you can feel their emotions a lot.

My Personal Response to The Colour Purple by Alice Walker

In my Personal Response to The Colour Purple by Alice Walker, we are presented with a young girl subjected to incredible amounts of pain by the people who “we are meant to trust the most” (our parents).

The Colour Purple by Alice Walker is the literary illustration of female “damnation” in a world overrun by the male ego and superiority complex. On the first page of the novel, we are introduced to a young woman of colour who is unaware of the power she possesses over herself due to her age. Since the novel is set in the early 20th century, we know that “the world in which this story is placed” is based on a kind of “modern slavery” referring to the interracial and racial divide, and abuse, demonstrated throughout the book.

The “male domination” and female “damnation” which I stated before is predominantly carried out through the first half of the book, where we see most of the women involved must always answer to their husbands, seek approval and follow “the chain of command”. In these pages, we read how Celie is subjected to an unwanted underage marriage, abuse, mistreatment of her new partner which then causes her to become submissive or in better words endure whatever he needs is expected to fulfil all her “partner’s” wishes.

The intricacy of the psychological games played with these women is superior, their lack of capacity to understand that they CAN leave, they ARE able to make it in this world somehow although they will struggle is extraordinary but understandable due to undergone manipulation, threats, moral and religious conflicts.

Just by reading the first few pages of this novel, I felt uneasy, I felt my insides shake and twitch as I was overrun with fear, discomfort, pain and hatred, as an individual who can relate quite deeply with Celie due to her experiences of suppression in a male dominant world.

This book has language and imagery which many would not be able to comprehend the reasoning behind their use; this, I believe is done by the author to incentivise readers to really try to put themselves in Celie’s shoes, to try and feel her pain, the disgust, the loss of humanity she undergoes.

The Colour Purple is most definitely a controversial masterpiece that looks into a past vs present scenario by placing the reader in the 20th century with a 21st-century point of view on equality, racism and multiple forms of abuse.

The biggest “bullet to bite” for me was also to remember the fact that Celie is only a child, she has barely begun puberty and is submitted to rape, motherly tasks, the “guardianship” of her sister Nettie and her own survival. These tasks with help are attainable to complete but on her own, in my eyes are absolutely outstanding.