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Cover to Cover: The Color Purple

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Katherine Gavin

on 11 February 2013

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Transcript of Cover to Cover: The Color Purple

The Color Purple Cover to Cover Critical Acclaim
for the book Squeak Alice Walker's work expresses Celie's story through a first person narrative in the form of letters to God. The reason the story is impactful is because of the strength of the voice portrayed through Celie's letters. It was as if the reader was having a conversation with Celie, as she told the events in her life. The movie, although it did instill a few of the book's first person narratives, was expressed through third person and did not evoke the same feelings as the book. In addition, because the story was addressed to God, it shows the lack of communication Celie had with most people. Nettie and Shug were the only people she opened up with and had honest conversations with, which is why she chose to write letters to God as a way to express her internalized thoughts. Power of Narrative and Voice In the book, upon reading the letters, Celie stops writing to God and begins writing to Nettie. This does not happen in the movie. The works reunite, however, as Celie decides to leave Mr.____ and live with Shug until Nettie and her children return home. As Celie leaves, she curses out Mr._____ and expresses her Letters From Nettie Cont. why it is better! VS. By: Katherine Gavin, 2nd Period Book,
written by Alice Walker (1982) Movie,
directed by Steven Spielberg
(1985) The Color Purple Relationship of Celie & Shug Avery In the story of "The Color Purple", Celie and Shug Avery share a relationship that, amidst a rocky beginning, evolved into a strong bond. The book and movie both begin the relationship with the picture of Shug sitting on Mr._____'s nightstand. This is when Celie knew of Shug as the "other" woman, and her emotionally absent husband's true love. Both works explain Celie's first knowledge of Shug, but while the movie does not go into great detail, the book explains Celie's thoughts and emotions towards Shug. She begins to think in her head how Shug was in real life and fantasizes the life she lives. This is important to the story and the women's relationship because Celie's expectations of Shug clash with Shug's true personality when they meet and explains the tumult of their budding friendship as Shug treats Celie as the submissive servile housewife all the men in her life had. Relationship of Celie & Shug Avery Cont. While staying with Celie and Mr._____, Shug Avery
is looked after by Celie. The book and movie both
acknowledge this as the true beginning of the
friendship turned relationship. Celie and Shug
grow emotions far stronger than friendship and
have romantic feelings and relations with one another.
Both works express the relationship in great detail because Shug is the first person that Celie has been attracted to and loved since her sister Nettie. Without the development and depth of the relationship, the value and importance would be lost. Although the movie follows the book's storyline of Celie and Shug's relationship, the book goes into greater detail Celie's emotions by expressing everything through letters to God in first person, impacting the work by expressing just how strong Celie feels for Shug. Squeak was present in both works but played a much more vital role in the book than movie. In the movie, Squeak held little significance, only impacting the storyline in an incident with Sofia at Harpo's bar. Squeak is much more important in the book, introducing a theme that was absent in the movie. Of a mixed race and referred to as a "mullato", Squeak struggled greatly with racial identification, something very prevalent during the time period. Because inter-racial dating and marriage was so greatly looked down upon, Squeak was looked at with little regard and struggled to identify as white or black. Because the movie lacked Squeak's battle with identity, the work lost the depth it had originally and did not express something that was important to the story and time period. The movie also failed to show Harpo and Squeak's relationship, as she was beaten by Harpo, and also struggled with her identity as a woman because of the low social stature women held, especially in the south and of mixed-race. Kate Harpo's lover after Sofia left him Mr._____'s Sister Although absent in the movie, Kate's character in the book felt empathy for Celie and encouraged her to defy Mr._____ and his demands. Amidst Kate's advice, Celie continued her submissive role and continued to take the abuse. This is important to the story because it shows how controlled Celie is by men. It is extremely frustrating for her to ignore and not take advantage moments that allow for her to break free of the abuse and assume a role as Mr._____'s equal. On the reverse side, however, Celie's lack of action only helps the story because when she finally does defy her husband and leave with Shug Avery, Celie's triumph is that much more impactful. Grady Shug Avery's (Ex) Husband Grady was present in the book and movie but was a drastically different character between the two. In the movie, Grady's role was small, filling in as Shug's husband who befriended Mr._____, regardless of his prior relationship with Shug. The book, however, portrays a marijuana-smoking womanizer who irresponsibly spends Shug's money. The lack of Grady's true character in the movie affects the perception of Shug's character. The pair's marriage is perplexing given Shug's claim that Mr._____ is her one true love, her relations with Celie and lack of love for Grady. Shug is not amused by Grady's actions but instead of divorcing him, stays in a loveless marriage until she catches news of his affair with Squeak. The Grady in the book adds to Shug's complexity because of her many relationships and varying roles in each. Critical Acclaim
for the Movie Theme 1 One of the biggest themes throughout the story is sexism, which is found in the book and movie. Almost every male encountered in the story either holds the dominant title without any issue, or fights to do so. Mr. _____ is the biggest example of sexism in his actions towards women, especially Celie. His attitude towards women transcended into Harpo, as he too treated women as objects, never hesitant to raise his hand . The story is heavily centered around the treatment of women and the dangerous cycle that ensues. Because of the importance, it is crucial that both works display the mistreatment of women and the affects it has on all parties involved. The theme of sexism is a direct reflection of the time period and the struggle for power between men and women, something that is still seen today. Sexism Female Relationships Theme 2 The power of female relationships is found throughout the story, not only between Celie and Shug but also between Celie and Nettie. The only sincere and healthy relationships Celie shared were with women, which served as a sense of motivation for her to continue to fight and stay alive. These relationships are consistent with the book and movie, only varying slightly in details. The works explain Celie's attachment to women and disdain for men by expressing her strong connections with the women in her life. Lacking a mother growing up and oppressed by the men in her life, it is no wonder that Celie forms feelings for Shug and pursues romantic relations. During the time period, it was common that women were subjected to such terrible abuse and state of servitude or were aware of such behavior that it was almost as if they had a secret sisterhood, an unspoken bond that allowed them to share a bond no man would could comprehend or match. Women needed to stick together to survive and fight the oppression, causing female relationships to be such a vital part of the story. Letters from Nettie With the help of Shug, Celie finds Nettie's letters in Mr. _____'s trunk, where he held all things of importance. The discovery of the letters was consistent from the book to the movie, as Celie and Shug found them and Celie was about to learn about her sister that she thought was dead. Because of the importance of this scene, the movie stayed true to the book and such an important turning point in the story. true contempt for him. After a dramatic good bye, Celie awaits for Nettie to return home and, in the movie, Mr._____ receives a letter form immigration services and pays to have Celie reunite with her true family. This was not done in the book because Mr._____ is portrayed as pure evil and has no redeemable characteristics about him. By adding in this event, the movie strays away from Mr._____'s true personality and strives to make all sources of trouble in Celie's life have a resolution, something that rarely happens. Celie's lack of resolution with the men in her life stays true to the story's theme of female relationships the negative role men have in Celie's life. As far as portrayals of literature in the film industry go, the movie "The Color Purple" staying true to the original story. It was a soulful interpretation of Alice Walker's original work, that evoked strong emotions, thoughts and ideas about racism, sexism and relationships. The public has been very accepting of the movie, as it was nominated for 4 Golden Globes and 11 other awards such as Best Picture, Best Leading Actress, Best Writing and Best Cinematography. Although the movie was a phenomenal interpretation of the story, Alice Walker's novel "The Color Purple" wins, hands down. The ability for Walker to convey such strong emotion trumps the movie. Celie's thoughts are directly displayed for the reader to digest and allows for greater empathy and for a relationship to be formed between the audience and characters. The characters are extremely deep and complex, something that was fully portrayed in the story. The movie lacked key scenes, characters and themes that are vital to the novel's purpose and meaning and greatly took away from the story's impact.The book won the Pulitzer Prize in 1983, further solidifying the impact of Alice Walker's work. # The Way of Spielberg why he did, what he did Steven Spielberg's adaptation of "The Color Purple" was extremely close to the original story, with a few alterations along the way. Instead of having many changes to modernize the story as many filmmakers do, Spielberg knew how impactful the book was and wanted to stay true to the original storyline and themes. The details that were changed, however, were done out of consciousness to Hollywood's demands and the desire for movies to have a complete and "happy" ending. Spielberg's decisions, although not harmful to the story, were not for the betterment of the work because the he left out key elements, characters and events that are important to the work as a whole.
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