Assignment #2: The Color Purple Essay
February 12, 2012
The Color Purple, in its simplest form, may be considered a fairy tale having a victim, Celie, villains, Alfonso and Mr._____, heroes, Shug Avery and Sofia, and a happy ever after, found in Celie’s economic successes and repaired relationships. However, The Color Purple exposes the injustices black women faced during the 20th century southern life, which for many, was anything but a fairytale. Domestic violence was not as easily overcome as it was for Celie, black women did not have the freedom of creative expression in society, and black southerners, especially women, were not allowed prosperity in the business sector.
The Color Purple may be seen as a fairy tale because the victim, Celie, overcomes her life of sexual and physical abuse to become a happy, successful entrepreneur. The novel begins with a fourteen-year-old Celie’s cry for help. Celie has suffered repeated rapes and beatings by Alfonso, the man she believes to be her father. He warns her to “never tell nobody but God” (Color Purple 3). Celie’s letters to God are written in a voice that uses raw realism, signifying her stolen innocence. Celie becomes a captive to life. Mr._____, her husband, beats her and reminds her often how ugly she is and that his love is for another woman. Celie spends her days tirelessly cooking for him, cleaning, working his land, and raising his children. Nettie urges her to stand up for herself, “to fight” (Color Purple 17). “But I don’t know how to fight. All I know is how to stay alive,” replies Celie (Color Purple 17).
For Celie, life was about surviving and nothing more. That is, until Sofia and Shug Avery enter her life. They serve as the heroines of Celie’s life story. Celie’s strong-willed daughter-in-law, Sofia’s, strength and courage inspire Celie. Sofia refuses to take Harpo’s abuse. Celie watches Sofia fight back time and time again. Sofia...