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The Color Purple Comparison

This Prezi compares and contrasts the book by Alice Walker and the Spielberg directed 1985 film.
by

Avery Szalkowski

on 25 May 2010

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Transcript of The Color Purple Comparison

"I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don't notice it."
~Shug Avery Miss Eleanor Jane and Reynolds Stanley Shug's Wandering
Heart The Reunion of Shug and her Father Celie's Struggle for Faith in God (Walker 196) Shug Avery Celie Sofia Mary Agnes Nettie Tashi Olivia Corrine Shug and Celie's Relationship The Role of Mr. The Olinka Tribe in Africa The Reconciliation of Celie and Albert "I brought you here to love you and help you get on your feet."
(Walker 211) ~Shug to Celie about going to Memphis "I do not love Reynolds Stanley Earl. Now. That's what you been trying to find out ever since he was born. And now you know."
(Walker 264) ~Sofia to Eleanor Jane "I don't feel nothing about him at all. I don't love him, I don't hate him."
(Walker 265) ~Sofia about Reynolds Stanley "You ought to bash Mr. head open, she say. Think bout heaven later."
(Walker 42) ~Sofia to Celie "Anyhow, I say, the God I been praying and writing to is a man. And act just like all the other mens I know. Trifling, forgitful and lowdown."
(Walker 192) ~Celie "They know I love Shug but they think womens love just by accident, anybody handy likely to do."
(Walker 260) ~Celie "You took my sister Nettie away from me, I say. And she was the only person love me in the world."
(Walker 200) ~Celie to Mr. "Adam and Olivia are heartbroken because they love Tashi and miss her, and because no one who has gone to join the mbeles ever returned."
(Walker 256) ~Letter from Nettie to Celie "Tashi and her mother have run away. They have gone to join the mbeles."
(Walker 256) ~Letter from Nettie to Celie "I already had my bad luck, she say. I had enough to keep me laughing the rest of my life."
(Walker 201) ~Sofia about her trouble with the law "Sometimes I think Shug never love me. I stand looking at my naked self in the looking glass. What would she love?"
(Walker 259) ~Celie "I got the hots for a boy of nineteen."
(Walker 248) ~Shug to Celie "I'm gitting old. I'm fat. Nobody think I'm good looking no more, but you. Or so I thought. He's nineteen."
(Walker 250) ~Shug to Celie "After all the evil he done I know you wonder why I don't hate him. I don't hate him for two reasons. One, he love Shug. And two, Shug used to love him. Plus, look like he trying to make something out of himself." (Walker 260) "Dear God. Dear stars, dear trees, dear sky, dear peoples. Dear Everything. Dear God."
(Walker 285) ~Celie "Dear Nettie,
I don't write to God no more. I write to you. What happen to God? ast Shug. Who that? I say."
(Walker 192) ~Celie "Then the old devil put his arms around me and just stood there on the porch with me real quiet. Way after while I bent my stiff neck onto his shoulder. Here us is, I thought, two old fools left over from love, keeping each other company under the stars." (Walker 271) ~Celie about Mr. "And now it do begin to look like he got a lot of feeling hind his face."
(Walker 273) ~Celie about Mr. Alice Walker writes this novel in diary-type entries. Each section is either a prayer or a letter. Celie begins most of the sections with "Dear God." However, as her life becomes more and more disappointing, her faith falters. She begins to question whether or not God exists and sees him as an aloof human male. While this struggle with faith characterizes Celie and shows her utter brokenness and confusion, the film does not touch on this subject at all. Soon, Celie's frustration with God leads to her temporary abandonment of him completely and sparks spiritual confusion in Celie's mind. While the film does not follow the diary-like pattern of the book, in the novel only, Celie begins to address her prayers to a broader audience than just God himself. In her desire for divine love and peace, she prays to any and everything. This switch in belief shows a growth in Celie's character and a brodening of her spiritual thinking. However, since the film does not show this transformation, Celie's character does not undergo that subtle, but important change in personality. A spunky and tough-skinned character named Sofia feels that Celie is so focused on being righteous that she will let her husband completely rule her life and beat her. This quote, present in the book and the movie, is the introduction to rebellion against God because of the low quality of life He has seemingly provided for Celie. Although Celie does not take Sofia's words to heart right away, it makes her think about her relationship with God. The story of Celie, a young woman raped by her stepfather, mother of two children by her stepfather (Adam and Olivia), wife of the abusive and crass Mr., lover of Shug Avery - a popular and talented jukejoint singer, caring sister to Nettie, and friend to the ever-strong Sofia. There are a few main differences between the book and movie version of this story. In order to fully understand each, the importance of these differences will be explained. Film Novel In the novel and the film, Sofia runs into a little trouble with the law because of her stubbornness. After being put in jail for a few years, she is released to work as a maid for the mayor's wife. She takes care of the mayor's children as they grow up. The daughter's name is Eleanor Jane. The film does not continue to describe Miss Eleanor Jane as she grows up and has baby Reynolds Stanley. However, the way Sofia treats Eleanor Jane is an important difference between the book and the film. Sofia explains to Eleanor Jane that regardless of how respectful colored people must be towards white people, the blacks have never loved the cruel whites. This truth reveals the deep racism inherent in the novel, whereas the omission of this part in the film "lightens up" the racial viewpoints for a more race-conscious 1985 audience. Shug Avery is a crucial character in "The Color Purple." In the film, her ruined relationship with her father plays a much larger role than in the novel. In the film, Shug's father is a preacher and wants to have nothing to do with his wayward daughter. However, as seen in the clip, she finally catches his attention and they are reunited. This relational addition not prevalent in the novel adds a new element to the masculine and sexist overtones in the movie, but also a greater feeling of hope and love. Since this scene is not a part of the novel, the book is able to focus more on Celie and her relationships and her struggles. Shug is only described in relation to Celie so that the meaning of the story revolves solely around Celie's thoughts and feelings. Without Shug and her father's reunion, the novel can focus more on the main character. The film shows a much smaller amount of Nettie, Adam and Olivia in Africa ministering to the Olinka tribe than the book explains. Since the book goes into much more detail of Nettie's adventures and trials in Africa with Celie's children, the novel shows the disparity between Celie's demanding life of drudgery and Nettie's life surrounded by people who love her. This intensifies Celie's feelings of loss since she reads about all of Nettie's travels. Because the film leaves out much of Nettie's time in Africa, including Adam's love of an Olinka girl named Tashi, Celie's relationship with Nettie is not as fully developed as it is in the book. This sets up a much more emotional reunion between Celie and Nettie at the end of the movie since the audience has not seen much of Nettie throughout the film. Also, it provides a much more defined separation of Celie's children from her and gives Africa a sense of mystery and distance. In "The Color Purple," Celie and Shug have a very intimate relationship and at times, a somewhat lesbian relationship. However, the book goes into much greater detail than the film does on this subject. In the film, Shug and Celie are only very mildly romantic and only in one particular scene. This "toning down" of a female-female relationship shows the director's desire to cater to a more conservative audience. In doing so, Celie's overall frustration with men is diminished and her desire just to have someone love her is reduced. By taking out most of Shug and Celie's deep emotional attachment, the film focuses more on Celie's strengths and hopefulness as opposed to her weaknesses. In the novel, Shug and Celie spend a lot of time together and eventually Celie leaves Mr. to go to Memphis with Shug. Walker does not hold back in explaining Celie's feelings towards Shug and the way they act with each other. Celie's character is just enraptured by Shug's talent and sense of style and Celie's heart desperately wants to feel some love or appreciation from anybody. The depth of emotion apparent in the novel illuminates Celie's search for love wherever she can find a trace of it. When she finds it in Shug, Celie's character blossoms and develops into a more outgoing person that has the guts to stand up to Mr. and step out into the world, changing her rotten life for the better. In the novel, after Celie has traveled to Memphis with Shug, Shug tells Celie that she has fallen in love with a 19 year-old boy. This is heartbreaking news for Celie who is in love with Shug herself. The film does not include this part from the novel. Without this scene in the movie, Celie's outlook on life is more hopeful and a little less miserable. However, without Shug's love affair, Celie does not have the chance that she does in the novel to grow closer to Mr. through her pain. Because of the omission of this part in the film, Celie does not become as strong and independent as she does in the book and does not truly discover the full potential of her deep and loving heart. While the book includes Shug's romance with the 19 year-old, this part of the plot gives Celie a chance to grow into her true self. In essence, Celie really learns how to bloom in the face of adversity and disappointment. Since one of the only people she loves loves someone else, Celie channels her passion into sewing pants for everyone she knows as opposed to moping. She is able to search within herself and discover that love does not always come from one source, but love can be found in many different places and in many difference circumstances. "I got pants now in every color and size under the sun."
(Walker 211) ~Celie In both the novel and the film, Mr. is an abusive and degrading husband to Celie. However, the movie ends with Mr. redeeming himself in a major way. After separating Celie and Nettie and keeping Nettie's letters locked away, Mr. brings Nettie back from Africa for Celie. This kind of redemption does not occur in the novel. In the novel, Celie and Mr. (Albert) become somewhat friendly. However, Mr. is not the one who proactively pursues Nettie to bring her back. Without help from Mr., the novel puts the sisterhood of Celie and Nettie in the spotlight as opposed to Mr. and his change of heart. By allowing Nettie to come home on her own, Walker pushes the pain of Mr. initially separating the sisters aside and allows the simple sweetness of love and reunion to pervade the ending of the novel. Celie's character gets to enjoy all the attention and her horrendous life is forgotten and replaced with love since Mr. is not involved in the sisters' reconnection. In the film, Mr. reunites Nettie and Celie. This puts Mr. in a more positive light and almost makes the audience feel sorry for him and his past mistakes. This adds more emotion to the already heartwrenching last scene of the movie and shows that with a remorseful heart, even the most diabolical of people can be redeemed and turn their lives around. This tweak of the final scene adds another aspect to the love between Nettie and Celie because Mr. is the unlikely agent that binds them together. "Thank you for bringing my sister Nettie and our children home. Wonder who that coming yonder? ast Albert."
(Walker 285) ~Celie to God, Mr. to Celie While Mr. reunites Nettie and Celie in the film, he does so anonymously and he and Celie never establish a friendship. However, in the novel, Celie and Mr. grow closer because of a shared love of Shug and because Mr. begins to realize how much Celie did for him once she leaves for Memphis. This reconciliation is of utmost importance in the novel because it shows Celie's ability to forgive Mr. for all the awful things he put her through and let go of her constant anger, as well as Mr.'s ability to forgive himself. Celie also finds solace in being able to talk to Mr. and finally call him by his first name, Albert. This idea of forgiveness proves that Celie's battered and guarded heart is capable of opening up and that she is indeed a very strong, upstanding woman. In the film, Celie and Mr. never speak again after the clip shown here. Celie breaking free from him is their final encounter. While Mr. does the right thing in bringing Nettie back, the importance of forgiveness is not as apparent in the movie. Instead of having Celie grow stronger through her attempt to befriend Mr. like in the novel, the film shows Celie growing stronger through her utter separation from Mr. This strength in separation shows Celie's resolution to toughen up and makes Mr. seem pathetic and sheepish compared to her. Sofia Shug Avery
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