The Color Purple Essay

2622 words - 11 pages

The Color Purple
The Color Purple describes the obstacles and progression of the chief character Celie, an unschooled teenager who is the object of mistreatment. In a series of writings to God, Celie narrates her life as she evolves from a timid mistreated spouse to a self-assured liberated woman. Celie’s story fundamentally begins as a consequence of her ill-treatment. As a fourteen year-old girl, she is repetitively physically and sexually abused and then told that she is ugly. As a result, Celie chooses to maintain her continued existence by being silent as well as invisible. The novel starts with the memory of her father’s order that Celie remain quiet about his abuse of her, “You ...view middle of the document...

Despite the abuse Celie tolerates, she has little cognizance of the unfairness and display minimal or no resentment. In her next letter written to God, we find that her father has taken another wife, and yet the abuse continues. Celie’s father abuses her for “winking at a boy in church,” even though there may possibly have just been a little item caught in her eye, (Walker 5). He later physically beats her again, accusing her of dressing “trampy” (Walker 7).
Sometime later, Celie and her sister, Nettie, find out that a fella named Mister, has taken interest in marrying Nettie. Celie’s father wife informs her and Nettie that he is recently widowed. She also says that while married, he had a mistress, a woman named Shug Avery. Celie’s step-mother locates a photo of Shug Avery and shows it to her and Nettie. Immediately, Celie is taken. Shug Avery’s beautiful face captivates her. Celie has never seen a person like her, “The most beautiful woman I ever saw” (Walker 6). Celie’s father declines Mister’s request to marry Nettie, declaring that Nettie is too young to take on such a big responsibility; he wants her to pursue her education, and offers Celie as a substitute. He informs Mister that she is hardworking, unattractive, and a liar, who “spoiled twice”. He also adds that she is of age and has her own cow, which she could take along into the marriage, “She can take that cow she raise down there back of the crib. But Nettie you flat out can’t have, not now, not ever” (Walker 8).
Mister ponders the offer for a few months and ultimately decides to accept it. However, Celie very much would like to pursue her education as well, but her father states that Celie is too stupid to be taught, “You too dumb to keep going to school, Pa say, Nettie the clever one in this bunch” (Walker 9). The cycle of abuse continues as Celie spends her wedding day covering a head wound, “I spend my wedding day running from the oldest boy…He pick up a rock and laid my head open” (Walker 12). Later on that night, Celie worries about her sister Nettie. Her worry is later confirmed when Nettie escapes from their abusive father and takes shelter with Celie at Mister’s home. While there, it is obvious that Mister still wants Nettie. He compliments her all the time. Nettie attempts to help build Celie’s confidence by passing Mister’s compliments, to Celie, which Celie acknowledges did encourage her opinion of herself. These compliments, however, in no way encourage Nettie to want to be with Mister. She refuses his advances and Mister forces her to flee. Celie never hears from Nettie again and assumes she has died.
Soon thereafter, Mister’s sisters visit his home and surprisingly treat Celie with compassion. They complement her housekeeping skills and how she keeps the children looking nice. One of Mister’s sisters tells him that Celie is in dire need of some new clothes, and although he appears shocked to hear that she would have wants, Mister agrees to buy her...

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