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Compare how Celie and Jeanette deal with the influence of Mr.____ and Mother in 'The Color Purple' and 'Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit'. Refer to the way structure and language demonstrates their resilience.

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Introduction

Compare how Celie and Jeanette deal with the influence of Mr.____ and Mother in 'The Color Purple' and 'Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit'. Refer to the way structure and language demonstrates their resilience. Both protagonists seek others for the comfort they are lacking from Mr.___ and Mother, yet neither Shug nor Melanie or Katy are able to truly compensate for what they have lost. Shug's abandonment of Celie appears to hurt her more than Mr.____'s physical abuse ever did: "My heart broke. Shug love somebody else." Celie does not need to be well educated, and Walker's language does not need to be sophisticated to show the pain that Celie is feeling. These two short sentences create enormous impact, particularly as they open one of the letters/prayers. It also evokes more sympathy here from the reader because of how much Shug means to Celie, "My life...stop with Mr. ___ ...but start up again with Shug." Celie, like Jeanette, loses little when her primary caregiver is insensitive, yet loses everything when her soul mate is, "I feel my heart begin to cramp...I cover it with my hand." This gesture is so achingly poignant because of its simplicity, and because it is so child-like; Celie has not been taught any other way to cope. Winterson's description, though more detailed, describes a strikingly similar reaction to loss from Jeanette: "We cried each other to sleep...sweating and crying with mixed up bodies and swollen faces." ...read more.

Middle

It also reflects a certain maturity at being able to assess a situation, and walk away if it cannot be resolved. Her explanation of Pastor Finch's whereabouts even shows wit at such a young age: "playing with the fuzzy felt", adding this embarrassing detail purely to show her maturity and eye for humour over the Pastor. The use of first person narrative allows us to clearly see how Jeanette and Celie are finding ways of coping. Surprisingly, there is almost no use of denial by either protagonist: a typical coping technique. They are both very honest, and this narrative structure allows the reader to see their genuine feelings, with no reason to hide anything. Jeanette's reaction to Pastor Finch is not truthful; she does not tell him that she was "just beginning to enjoy a rewrite of Daniel in the lions' den", but instead acts as if it was a mistake, "putting on my best, blessed face". The adjective "best" could even suggest that she is so used to these situations that she has been practising, and now knows which one is the most effective. She is used to the behaviour of the adults in her life, and has learnt that protesting will only get her into more trouble. One key contrast between Celie and Jeanette is their self-confidence. Jeanette, although defeatist at times, does seem to realise her potential, and is rarely self-pitying: "I cannot recall a time when I did not know that I was special". ...read more.

Conclusion

It seems to be saying that despite this very Christian idea of hell, telling young children about it is wrong for fear it might corrupt them. The phrase, "young minds" implies this, in the way that they could be moulded, perhaps suggesting a fear of Satanism within society, which is certainly reflected throughout the novel: "Parents, watch your children for the signs". This is also ironic in that a religious idea is not fit for exposure to a young, pure, mind, and contrasts with so much of Mother's behaviour, "Whatever it is, it's not holy." There is the sense, with both novels, that society plays a major part in Celie and Jeanette's lack of freedom: "All my life I had to fight". The two protagonists are not the only ones experiencing this kind of oppression, nor are Mr. and Mother the only ones enforcing it. In Jeanette's case, it is her religion's boundaries that restrict her, and with Celie, it is the social ones. Mother and Mr.____ are merely representative of the figures in society that are so controlling, and are certainly not rare. This explains, in part, why there is so little abhorrence felt by the protagonists towards Mr.___ and Mother. They are not used to being treated any differently, and so ultimately, instead of trying to physically escape, both characters learn to be resilient: "I'm pore, I'm black, I may be ugly...but I'm here." 2419 words. ...read more.

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