This sample essay on Why Is It Called The Colour Purple provides important aspects of the issue and arguments for and against as well as the needed facts. Read on this essay’s introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion.
The Color Purple is a Pulitzer prize winning novel written by Alice walker, The original book sold over 4million copies, when the novel was published it was seen as controversial and to this day is still seen as controversial the reasons for in being controversial are ” the representation of black men”, bodily abuse, sexual abuse and lesbianism.
Due to the outcry of people this novel was made in to a Oscar winning film, the same year that the color purple was released a film called Out Of Africa was released and won film of the year, the only explanation could be due to the color purple being a hard hitting film which puts men in a bad light they are seen as monogamists for the first half of the film.
Alice Walker is a bisexual African American who was criticized for her personal representation of men and her portrayal of all African women’s lives.
The black men were outraged at her stereotypical view of their heritage and background. The novel “The color purple” is composed of a number of letters that were written between Cilei and her sister Nettie the sisters were separated at a very young age and made a vow to keep in touch. The letter correspondence stayed constant for many a year till they finally met about 20yrs later.
There are many evil men in the novel who are shown in a bad light and thus creating a degrading environment for women, in my opinion in the novel Purple I can see no problem in the representation of the black men because during thoughts times there was much hardship and grief in the South and so men had most and if not all the love for there wives drained out of them. Alice Walker was very concerned with the color purple and as such it was a very predominant colour throughout the novel, the significance of the color purple was to convey bruising.
The other colours were yellow, red and blue, yellow was a symbol of healing burses, blue and red were used to create the color purple. Alice Walker’s brother shot her in the eye with air gun at a young age and her father did not do a lot to punish his son, Alice did not have a close relation ship with her father and thus having two bad male figures in her life from a young age may have contributed to her becoming lesbian.
Alice Walker was a Feminist she did not admit to it and she also said she’s not preaching, she’s simple telling a story and the out come of it is “men look BAD” and there’s no denying it, she try’s to recover the male aspect at the end of the novel with all the men being happy when they decline to the women. A. W. ” Feminism is the radical notion that a woman is a human being” Celie “Well, you know wherever there’s a man there’s trouble” (p175 line1)
Pa was Celie’s stepfather he abused her and made her believe he was her real father thus making her believe she had committed incest which was terrible for her being a god fearing person. Pa was also a paedophile “I ast him to take me instead of Nettie while our new mammy sick”(p9 line1), all the men that abused women were labelled Mr____ and this was true for Albert and Bubber Hodges, Annie Julia’s boy friend who shot her.
Most of the letters were picked up by Albert Ceile’s stepfather, who felt that ceile had no write to keep in contact with her only friend and this is one of the thing he dose to make you feel bitter about him. Albert was a tall fairly large built man who liked to dominate women, he abused Ceile physically, mentally and sexually, Albert was a paedophile he always went for younger and younger girls he even started going for Nettie- Ceiles sister, Pa had no morals he would sell Ceile’s children to rich families and say that they were dead and he never thought it would heart Ceile.
While Ceile and Nettie were separated Nettie met a man called Samuel he was a preacher he was so good to Nettie, they moved to Africa and he took a new post as preacher in a village where they liver with the Olinka tribe. Samuel was a good husband he cared for her loved her and gave her the love she deserved, Nettie had two children that grew up in South Africa and they were going to have the scarification ritual done on them.
Harpo was a positive portrayal of a male figure, he was good to his wife Sofia, although Alice Walker had negative views on some men, she gave a small minority of the men good honest characteristics, in my opinion she put these good characters in to counterweight the negative male imagery I came to this conclusion after noticing throughout the first three quarters of the novel there was no positive male input and then out of nowhere popped up five fantastic men who could do nothing wrong almost as if she had realised her mistake and tried to make right what she had done wrong.
The only true character development that I can see is Albert, Albert was an evil man and after tuning to god towards the end of the novel he saw the light and changed his ways, this was a true character development, after Albert repent, and asked for forgiveness. Alice Walker used god as a messenger in most of Ceiles letters, to the character Celie god was a man that had an ear open and a heart that could solve all, she would open every letter Dear God… this in my opinion was to make the reader think that she had no other person to talk to.
Religion is a predominant theme in the novel; in the south religion was all they really had due to the hardship and poverty religion was seen as a form of forgiveness to all the wrongs a person committed. Purple is a key word when understanding the significance of men; the colour purple is used to convey bruises physical violence and abuse. Sofia is an exhalent example of abuse she was beaten and raped in a prison cell by Bubber and the policeman, the racial inequality between black and white people was so vast that the mayor got away with striking Sofia.
The carved purple frog was given to Ceile by Albert as a token of forgiveness, Ceile kept the frog on her mantelpiece. Ceile can see that Albert has found god she say’s “Take off there pants, I say, and men look like frogs to me” personally this is a child’s view because all frogs can change in to princes, and men have the ability to become good and pure all they need is the chance. Albert has the ability to love, Shug Avery was a misters to Albert but he loved her more than celie he said, ” this woman should have been your mamma”.
Albert could be seen in two ways either good or bad, he would have been bad in the way he forgot about Ceile and good in the way her cared for Shug. Although we concentrate on the abuse men coughs in the south we must also look at the other regions of the world in that time, in Africa where Nettie lived with Samuel there were men abusing women there, this was called scarification where the men of the Olinken tribe cut and sew up the women so that they were defaced and this was to tell if they were having sex before marriage.
The two social backgrounds of men show that the Olinkan tribe keep their girls virgin till there married and the men like Pa would take the girls virginity away at a very young age. Although Albert was a strong character in the first half of the novel you can see how he finally decides to become subservient to Ceile, the main reason for this is due to her wearing the trousers, she has her own busyness that is thriving on the sale of trousers.
Harpo try’s the trousers on with Sofia and at this point there is equality between male and female. There is a famous quote by Stevie Wonder “Show me how to do like you, Show me how to do it” this simply means if the men wear shown how to love they would love there selves. Men from a young age were shown their fathers beating their wives and to all boys this would be seen as something normal, an every day occurrence.
Although Harpo and Sofia are seen as equal the underlying fact is that he tried to beat her a number of times, this was a problem for him due to his size and stature. The reasons for trying to beat Sofia were pressers of the local men. The line “It pisses God off when you walk by the colour purple in a field and don’t even notice it” is very powerful because walking passed is the same as turning your nose up at racial inequality, suffering and abuse against women.