In this novel, most women either have to constantly fight against men, or completely submit and be trampled over. It is only the women with independent economic security that are able to stand up for themselves without severe repercussions. Women’s situations can improve, however, when women band together and support each other.
Although women are universally oppressed in The Color Purple, all of them learn to stick up for themselves. Ultimately, men fail to hold onto their power because the women in their lives refuse to abide by it.
In The Color Purple, men see women as objects to control; to have a healthy relationship, the book implies that most of these women have to turn to other women, like Shug and Celie.