Study Guide

The Color Purple Writing Style

By Alice Walker

Writing Style

Brief, Sparse, Uneducated

The Color Purple is composed of very short chapters, written as letters to God, that explain in the shortest possible ways the trials and tribulations Celie (and, later, Nettie) experience. Walker presents Celie’s thoughts in the vernacular, with poor grammar and spelling. These emphasize the point that Celie is not an educated woman. Celie’s letters also tend to touch upon topics briefly and sparsely rather than being developed and embellished in long paragraphs. After Nettie and Celie reconnect, Celie’s letters get longer and more detailed. She is happier in her life, and tends to express joy by writing more.

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