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The Color Purple

The Color Purple

  

by Alice Walker

The Color Purple Themes

The Color Purple Themes

Violence

Violence: It's not the answer.Still, there's a whole lot of it in The Color Purple. Most of the black female characters in this book tend to be victims of violence, and men attempt to exert their d...

Religion

Celie narrates The Color Purple through a series of letters, most of which are addressed to God. She initially imagines God as an old white man, something like Dumbledore or Gandalf. But as a black...

Race

The Color Purple has a lot to say about race in America. At the beginning of the novel, Celie is extremely downtrodden—almost to the point of being defeated. As an African-American female living...

Love

The Color Purple can be a harsh read at times, but it's ultimately a book about the power of love—both romantic and familial. Celie's first experience with love comes from her relationship with h...

Family

Celie's main concept of family is the connection she feels toward her sister Nettie. Though physically separated from all of her family members, Celie maintains her love and affection for her siste...

Marriage

In The Color Purple, most of the marriages we see are pretty miserable. Married people rarely love each other and, even when they do, they use violence to try to control their spouse’s behavior....

Sex

For much of The Color Purple, Celie sees sex as a form of violence and control, or, at best, as an uninspiring obligation to her husband. That is, until she meets a very inspiring woman named Shug....

Sexuality and Sexual Identity

Early on in The Color Purple, Celie begins to explain that she doesn’t look at men because they scare her. Instead, she looks at women. Women are the only people who have ever been kind to her. C...

Women and Femininity

In The Color Purple, many female characters are faced with a tough choice: fiercely (and sometimes unsuccessfully) fight against men's attempts to oppress them, or completely submit and get trample...

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