• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Despite Their Cultural Differences, Do Jeanette From ‘Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit’ & Celie From ‘The Colour Purple’ Both Share The Same Struggle?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Gareth Crabtree Despite Their Cultural Differences, Do Jeanette From 'Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit' & Celie From 'The Colour Purple' Both Share The Same Struggle? The cultural differences of the two characters are numerous and the implications far reaching. The austere but comfortable working class security of 'Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit', contrasts greatly with the urban squalor of 'The Colour Purple.' Even though there is such a massive social divide the two women share many similar struggles. Both women are struggling against the imposition and enforcement of belief systems and intolerant judgements upon them. In Jeanette's life her mother mainly imposes her controlling and stifling religious views upon her. She feels press - ganged to the extent that 'I had been brought in to join her in a tag match against the Rest of the World.' The entirety of Jeanette's early life is a moulding process, where she is forced to endure the influence of 'enemies' including 'The Devil (in his many forms), Next Door, Sex (in its many forms), and slugs.' Celie's initial struggle takes on a much more chilling and darker tone. ...read more.

Middle

School is the first time for Jeanette that the belief's of her mother are challenged as odd, and possibly dogmatic. 'You do seem to be rather pre - occupied, shall we say with God.' The entire childhood of Jeanette is steeped in what many would seem a bizarre religious fervour, 'My mother is like William Blake, and she has visions and dreams and cannot always distinguish a fleas head from a king.' This strangeness is evident throughout the novel and makes it nearly unbelievable that Jeanette could lead any kind of normal existence. Every expression of Jeanette's creativity is expected to be an echo of her mother's religious insecurity, but this position is untenable and inevitably ends up having 'to enrage my mother because I had abandoned biblical themes.' With the once vice like grip of her mother's influence removed Jeannette's development gathers apace as she finds comfort in her lesbian relationships. Her happiness is then disrupted later in the novel by the harshness of the reaction of the church and most of the community to Jeanette's lesbian affair with Melanie. ...read more.

Conclusion

Jeanette Winterson successfully portrays the forgiveness that Jeanette feels for her mother's actions at the end of the novel. Without a clich�d ending, but instead uses a constant thread of humour that runs throughout the book. 'This is kindly light calling, Manchester, come in Manchester, this is kindly light.' This demonstrates the way that Jeanette has succeeded in rising above the pettiness of her earlier life. An obvious and much used target for this humour is the often simple and stupid naivety of the church that Jeannette was so closely linked to. The churchgoers have not made huge journeys of self-development but instead comfort themselves with the child like rhymes of 'Not whisky rye not gin and dry not rum and coke for me. Not brandy fizz but a spiritual whiz puts the fire in me.' Of course another target for this humour is Jeannette's mother, who by the end of the novel has not moved an inch from her initial beliefs. Even though Jeannette is now welcome in the family home, it is through comfortable familiarity she is welcomed there, and not because there has been an acceptance of what Jeannette has become. Even in the final lines of 'Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit' Jeannette's mother has remained entrenched in her religious fervour. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Alice Walker section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Alice Walker essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Alice Walkers depiction of men in The Color Purple has been controversial - Explore ...

    4 star(s)

    He took it while I was sleeping. Kilt it out there in the woods. Kill this one too, if he can." This may be interpreted as Mr. Alphonso having such hatred for Celie, that instead of saying he gave her children away, that he killed them, adding to Celie's grief.

  2. What are the main themes of Pleasantville and how does the director convey them ...

    through the use of cinematic techniques such as characterisation, colour, journeys, juxtaposition and music. Similarly, another significant theme in the movie is women's liberation and equality. Throughout the film, women are striving for a better existence. This is largely prompted by Mary-Sue, who being used to the politically correctness of

  1. Alice Walker Uses Symbolism to Address Three Issues: Racism, Feminism and the Search for ...

    The strength of Mamma is so compelling that it overshadows any need for a male in the house. This symbolically illustrates the black woman as the underpinning of the African American family. The message is that black women have always been strong but have never asserted that strength.

  2. "Inconceivable" by Ben Elton - book review.

    As things start to get worse they decide they have to have the tests at the hospital to find out what the problem is and sort it out. For Sam, this involves a sperm test which he really does not like the idea of; for Lucy, this involves being prodded

  1. Gender roles in The Color Purple.

    Many husbands controlled their wives in this way as well. They forced women to serve them and had the ability to harshly punish if they did not obey. These slave codes in the South also forbade whites from teaching slaves to read and write as well as to testify against whites in court (Brinkley 382).

  2. The Colour Purple essay

    Shug in letter 89 and Celie's family in letter 90 has led to Celie's sense of calm and inner peace, which is portrayed within these letters. This is expressed in her final sentences: "But I don't think us feel old at all.

  1. Many would argue that men hold the power in "The Colour Purple". Explore the ...

    Alphonso abused Celie and she didn't want the same to happen to Nettie, "I ast him to take me instead of Nettie". Thinking Alphonso may not want her instead of Nettie she trys to seduce him, "I tell him I can fix myself up for him.

  2. Examine the author's presentation of men, women and gender roles in 'The Color Purple' ...

    The father works early shifts and has no drastic contribution to her life. This is portrayed through the time the father goes to bed, "my father had already gone to bed because he worked early shifts." Overall, immediately I come to conclude that, both fathers in both the novels are presented negatively, in different ways.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work