The Color Purple
Celie is a young black girl living in the American South in the 1920's. She's a survivor. When she's 14 she starts writing letters to God about her life. She's not complaining, just telling what has happened in her life. She is 14 when her father first rapes her. She has two babies over the next few years, both of whom disappear.
A widower neighbor wants to marry Celie's younger sister to take care of his children. Their father keeps putting the man off. Finally he offers Celie instead and the man reluctantly accepts. Now Celie is married to a man who loves someone else, has children she is to raise for him, doesn't work much himself, and is constantly abusing her physically and mentally.It's not much different than when she was living at home.
The Color Purple is Celie's life in Celie's words. Alice Walker has written the book in first person narrative using Celie's uneducated voice in a diary or letter format. Celie doesn't whine or complain - she just tells what is happening. Her emotions are buried with only peeps showing until she starts writing to her sister Nettie rather than God. Even then, Celie is philosophical about life and the future.
The Color Purple is also a snapshot of the lives of the black people in the American South during the 1920's thru the 1940's before the Civil Rights movement. But it furthers the tale by including African history (in letters from Nettie) and how the culture is changed from the long-lived native culture to the white man's future culture as well. Injustice permeates this novel.
Despite the desolation and injustices presented in this book, it is an intriguing read that pulls the reader in to feel what Celie doesn't express. If you haven't lived it or heard people describe that type of life, you can't imagine it. You can only take Walker's words and feel them instead.
Notice: Non-graphic violence, Strong indecent language, Strong sexual content
These reviews are personal opinions only and in no way reflect other readers' opinions of the books discussed.
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