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

Explore Walkers Portrayal of Female Identity - The Color Purple

Extracts from this document...


Explore Walkers Portrayal of Female Identity "Teach only the boys."1 (Page 146) In many cases this term would be considered sexist: However, when reading The Color Purple it becomes evident that the men as well as the boys are the ones who are in need of education. This education is not confined to the academic sense, but Walker rather emphasises their need to acquire the understanding of equal rights. The women may not receive any academic education but they were still equal to men in their ability to work, as Walker shows through several strong female role models throughout The Color Purple. The things that the women have experienced have taught them things about life that no man would ever understand: The gift of tolerance, understanding and a positive mind. Celie has to undergo a lot of traumatic experiences throughout The Color Purple. Walker uses this to mould her into the "stereotypical" submissive woman. Walker then continues to develop Celie's stereotypical role of mother and wife by forcing her into another destructive relationship, both emotionally and physically. This relationship affected her attitude towards men but also her self-confidence towards women and children who possess the confidence she does not. ...read more.


Although she was treated poorly by her "father", she listens to the bible and "Honor[s] father and mother no matter what." (page 43-44).This even included forgiving him for the constant sexual abuse. By obeying the Bible she had to obey her father, no matter what the consequence was. The dramatic betrayal of someone she could trust had been destroyed and therefore jeopardised her relationship with any other man, instead of feeling love or respect, she only felt fear. "That's the truth. I look at women, tho, cause I'm not scared of them." Although Mr_____ is her husband,their relationship appears to be one of convenience. When he first approached Alphonso it was to marry Celie's sister, Nettie. Alphonso however refused. Claiming that Nettie was too pretty and that he should have Celie instead. Compared to Nettie, Celie was hardly the trophy wife that Mr___ desired. "She ugly. .....But she can work like a man." (pg.18.) Mr ____ only wanted a wife to look after his kid and to satisfy his own selfish needs. Walker portrays Celie as an object only to be used and abused by men. ...read more.


By saying this Walker could be trying to express that Mr____ does it so he can feel like he has some control in his life. That because he can't control how Shug feels about him he takes it out on Celie instead on confronting the issue. The second man in Shugs life is Grady, who Shug introduces to Celie in such rash manner that it could be that Walker was using him a device for her to show Mr___ and Celie's feelings. This would then provide them with some common ground. Alice Walker has integrated her own experience with the events and issues of the 1930's into The Colour Purple with great skill, which should be admired. Her writing has shown that woman can easily be portrayed in many different lights and the female stereotype couldn't be further from the truth. Men have a kind of meanness that women don't possess. Women, though they may scream and swear, are not harmful in the way men are. Walker has shown that this phrase is sexist for both men and woman. As portrayed through Sophia woman can be harmful in the same way as men and as shown through Mr___ and Alphonso men can also be the ones to fear. Although it may be out of weakness and shame. ...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

Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

4 star(s)

A well written essay which contains many valid points and shows knowledge and understanding of the novel. It also shows knowledge of historical and social context. Statements are backed up by appropriate quotes in places but more needed.
The essay needs to be more structured and needs to use topic sentences to refer to the essay question at the beginning of each paragraph.
It is a very broad question and at times the student seems to have 'got lost' in the enormity of trying to give a thorough answer.

Marked by teacher Katie Dixon 26/12/2012

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 is blaming everyone else. Famous black men are mentioned by Brown in his argument, and the fact that they were non-incestuous and non-brutalizing and had healthy relationships with women. He states that, "Their women never needed a 'Shug'." Brown fails to support his argument about famous black males though, he merely mentions their names briefly.

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

    However, when they reach the end of their journey, and turn into Lovers Lane a plethora of colour strikes them, and of course the audience, as incredibly liberated people and surroundings take the attention of the main characters. This sudden and unrestricted injection of colour is a perfect example of how colour represents liberation and freedom.

  1. Explore how the Film 'Cool Runnings' Utilises Colour Imagery.

    Colour imagery is shown strongly when trying to define characters. It is noticed most in Canada as the Jamaicans stand out. You notice this instantly in the first scene set in Canada.

  2. Gender roles in The Color Purple.

    Nearly a quarter of all white Southern women over 20 years old were illiterate and had little if any experience with schooling. If a Southern woman attended the little schooling that was available to her, she was generally limited to training designed to make her a more suitable wife (Brinkley 379-380).

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

    He currently lives in Notting Hill, West London with his wife Sophie Gare, who he met in Australia while on tour. She plays the saxophone in an all-girl group, "The Boom Babies." Author's Works Ben Elton does all types of work.

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

    Feelings of; disgust, horror, empathy and compassion circle the minds of the readers, as the belief in a 'father' acting so horrifically astonishes them. Everyone can relate to a father in one form or another and the thought of one actually 'raping' a child creates anger and disgust throughout the reading.

  1. Free essay

    The text The Color Purple, in both the novel by Alice Walker and the ...

    The film used this lighter opening to soften the impact of the rape and to show her innocence and youth, as well as immediately show the closeness she shares with Nettie. Celie grew up with no self-formed opinion of herself, believing the negative comments that others spoke of her: "Celie you got the ugliest smile this side of creation".

  2. Between Ourselves and Joebell and America The stories are quite different apart from the ...

    The Mother in "Between Ourselves" is someone who cares about her daughter a lot, she is worried that her daughter will meet and marry a man in America and marry. She writes "Your Ghosh Mashima asked me the other day if I was expecting an American son-in-law.

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