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Analysis

Literary Devices in The Color Purple

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

The color purple represents all the good things in the world that God creates for men and women to enjoy. At the beginning of the book, you could say that Celie has no sense of the color purple. Sh...

Setting

The book begins about 30 years before World War II. It covers the first half of the 20th century, as we follow Celie through thirty or forty years of her life. The setting of Celie’s story is...

Narrator Point of View

The narrative is told in the first-person form of letters. The first half of the book is told completely from Celie’s point of view; she addresses God in a sort of diary form to let God know...

Genre

The Color Purple plumbs the psychological depths of one person, Celie, and touches on the experiences of her sister. It is a story of friendship and sisterly love that spans literally a lifetime. W...

Tone

This is not a funny novel. In fact, though there may be one or two funny moments in the novel, we can’t remember them right now. This is a novel about utter hardship, sadness, tragedy –...

Writing Style

The Color Purple is composed of very short chapters, written as letters to God, that explain in the shortest of possible ways the trials and tribulations Celie (and, later, Nettie) experiences. Wal...

What’s Up With the Title?

The title refers to a moment when Shug Avery asks Celie if she takes the time to notice what little things that God does to show us that it (God is neither he nor she) loves us. "I think it pisses...

What’s Up With the Epigraph?

Show me how to do like you.Show me how to do it.—Stevie WonderEpigraphs can sometimes be hard to decipher and this is one of those times. This quote from Stevie Wonder’s song "Do Like Y...

Plot Analysis

Celie is in an abusive home situation.As the book opens, we see how thoroughly unprotected Celie is by any adults in her life. Her Pa repeatedly rapes her and Celie gives birth to two children by h...

Booker’s Seven Basic Plots Analysis: Rebirth

Celie’s children are stolen by her Pa and either killed or given away. Then she’s married off to a man no better than her Pa.Celie’s life story begins in darkness and continues in...

Three Act Plot Analysis

Celie is raped by her Pa, gives birth to children that are taken away from her, gets married, and loses Nettie. In every possible way, Celie is a victim.Mr.__’s mistress moves in and Celie fa...

Trivia

When it was released, The Color Purple caused a lot of controversy. Some people accused Walker of perpetuating myths of the black male as violent and lacking family values at the expense of dealing...

Steaminess Rating

Let’s just put it this way: Pa pushes his "thing" into his daughter’s "pussy" on the very first page of the book. If graphic incest on the first page of a novel is not NC-17, well, what...
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