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The Color Purple

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Nicholas Cook

on 22 March 2013

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Transcript of The Color Purple

The Color Purple Feminist/Gender Lens Psychoanalytic Lens Marxist Lens In Conclusion... Celie’s growth as a female character:

Celie started off as weak and oppressed. She didn’t stand up for herself and only attempted to stay alive, but never actually 'live' in any meaningful sense. - Mental Breakdown upon finding that her sister’s been alive for so long, despite her previous worries.
- Celie loses any trust she had in Albert.
- She also starts calling him Albert. (Which is significant.)
- No longer writes to God, instead writing to Nettie.
- Upon discovering that Celie’s father isn’t actually her father, Celie is reminded of her past. This triggers Celie to open up about her past and her traumatic experiences.
- Because of this, Celie opens up to Shug about the love she feels towards her. Nettie and Shug were both strong female characters, rebellious of the societal norms. Nettie made a future for herself, a future without a man at her side to tell her how to live. She had a passion for knowledge and a belief that woman had as much potential as men did. Throughout the book, Celie has been writing letters to God, and suddenly - she stops. Why did Celie turn from God, in favour of Nettie?

What is “It” and how does “It” change Celie’s views on life?

How do you think finding Nettie’s letters impacted Celie?

Why does Corrine’s belief and forgiveness matter so much to Nettie and Samuel before she dies?

By the end of this section Celie has changed her view of God. Celie and Nettie now have very different views on God. How do you think this will impact their relationship come their reunion? Why is God so important to both of these female characters? “The Olinka do not believe girls should be educated. When I asked a mother why she thought this, she said: A girl is nothing to herself; only to her husband can she be something. What can she become? I asked. Why, she said, the mother of his children. But I am not the mother of anybody’s children, I said, and I am something.” (155) Shug never let any man tie her down, making a career and life for herself. She never seemed to fit in the gender role that was assigned to her. She was both manipulative and clever. Neither Shug nor Nettie fit into the men’s views of the ‘ideal woman.’ The men’s views are oppressive and take personality and spirit away from women, forcing them down and turning them into mindless labourers to clean the house, cook the meals, work the field, and satisfy the sexual needs of the men. Within the book we see a male dominated (patriarchal) society, with a submissive female narrator who is surrounded by oppressive and abusive men and strong female protagonists. Celie develops relationships that exclude men. She grows into her own personality, with her own emotions - and she expresses them. This new and developed portrayal of Celie has her undermining sexual stereotypes just as her two major influences do. This shows the emerging self awareness of women, and their potential. The book is gives these women (from that time period and society as well as women today) a voice. “He gradually took more and more of the common land, and more wives to work it.” (153)
“The chief was given all his store bought utensils and forced to walk away from the village forever. His wives were given to other men.” (154)
There is a similar regard for women in both Celie’s community and in Africa where Nettie is.
“Why do they say I will be a wife of the chief?” asks Olivia./ That is the highest they can think, I tell her.” (157) The men of the Olinka tribe, especially the Chief, are described as lazy and fat. They sit around all day, and do nothing but drink wine and think of themselves. In their society they are socially considered superior but its clear that Walker is attempting to show how strong women are and how dependent men are on them.

The women in the Olinka tribe, despite their low social status, and poor regard for themselves, are physically strong workers and keep the community running relatively smoothly. Questions Women as possessions in Africa as well as America: Analysis: Event: Finding Letters (Celie’s awakening) Celie was unhappy, with no real purpose in life other than to survive to the next day. Her discovery of Nettie’s letters changed everything. She feels happy, being with Shug. She has purpose in knowing that Nettie is still alive. Her attitude completely changes from being passive to more aggressive, taking control of her situation and living for once. - There is conflict in the novel between white and black people; which parallels and is an expression of class conflict; with the white people being the equivalent of the bourgeoisie and blacks being the proletariat.

- There is also struggle between men and women within the book, which also parallels class conflict, though it essentially creates a second-tier class structure, with men in the proletariat being "upper-proletariat" and women being "lower proletariat".

- These class relationships dictate the structure of the society, making it both patriarchal and class stratified.

- The resistance of the women towards the males' domination constitutes a manifestation of class warfare. Shug changes too! In this section, Shug begins questioning the deeper morality of society, and we see her views on religion. Shug's view of religion is that of self-fulfillment. The idea that pleasing god means doing what's right and what pleasing yourself plays a prominent role in Shug's philosophy.

"Any God I ever felt in Chuch I brought in with me." (193)
"But if God love me, Celie, I don't have to do all that. Unless I want to." (193) BAD WOLF By: Indiana Jones (Indy Finney)
Captain Jack Harkness (Nich Cook)
Princess Conswayla (Jess Wheelock)
Jessica Milne
Chantell Redmond Celie's transformation from a submissive and oppressed woman to a self-confident and independent woman; along with her changed perception of God (going from white male to non-anthropic; almost pantheistic); represents the overcoming of gender-based discrimination and the victory of women in their struggle for equality.
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