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

The Colour Purple essay

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Look at letters 89 and 90. Respond to tasks 1) What do you learn about Celie's attitudes to life in these letters? 2) Write about Walker's method of telling the story in letter 90. 3) Some readers see the ending of the novel as a triumph of the human spirit. Some see it as sickly and sentimental. What do you think about the novel's ending? 1) By letters 89 and 90 Celie's attitudes to life have changed considerably from the early letters of the novel. Celie's attitude is extremely positive and she appears to have triumphed over her oppression, through her human spirit, attitude to life and bonds of sisterhood. This is shown in letter 89 by the way her and Shug respond to each other: " She look at me funny for a minute, I look at her. Then us laugh." This shows her sense of contentment and an almost carefree and happy attitude towards life. Laughter being a symbol of healing and regeneration suggests that despite Celie's horrendous past experiences her psyche has been healed and she is content in her life. In letter 89 Alice Walker portrays Celie with an air of confidence and defiance, Celie is finally prepared to not be passive in her response to discrimination and oppression she is prepared to question authority. Walker shows Celie to be proud of Sofia's authority over a white man: "she scare that white man. ...read more.

Middle

It depicts the change from Celie being a naive "innocent narrator" to a confident woman, educated through life and others such as Nettie. The change in Celie's vocabulary and grammatical style suggests she has learnt from Nettie's carefully composed letters. However, letter 90 also shows how Walker does not abandon Celie's mimetic style and her use of the colloquial black American dialect: "This Shug and Albert, I say. Everybody say pleased to Meetcha" Celie continues to include phonetical spellings such as "Meetcha" and to use the present tense for past events such as "I say" instead of I said. Both of these are features of the dialect of the Deep South and show that Walker has continued to express aspects of black American cultural identity through Celie's language throughout the novel. Often throughout history the voices of this community have not been heard and in her method of telling the story Walker allows them to have a voice through Celie's vernacular. The use of the present for past events such as "I say" instead of I said and the absence of speech punctuation also continues to give the novel the feeling of a play script. This first person narrative gives a sense of intimacy and immediacy with events in the novel and Walker continues to gain the closeness of the reader with Celie right until the novel's conclusion. ...read more.

Conclusion

Despite her earlier treatment by "Mr_" they seem, in my opinion, too easily reconciled through the love of Shug: "Us talk about you, I say. How much us love you." This type of language does make aspects of the ending seem sickly and sentimental. However I do feel this reconciliation to be necessary to Alice Walker's purpose and although slightly unrealistic does effectively, in a fairy tale style, show the triumph of human spirit through forgiveness and love. The ending of the novel is in my opinion how most readers wish and hope the novel to end. I do not view the novel as a realist novel, but rather as a novel intended to metaphorically portray the triumph of the human spirit. I agree with the critic Andrea Stuart who said that the novel should not be read as "a realist novel in the ordinary sense" but instead as a fairy/folk tale or fable. The novel's ending advocates ideas that through strength of character, self-acceptance and positive thinking you can achieve freedom and I feel that through Alice Walker showing that black women can achieve, she sets in place a self-fulfilling prophecy inspiring and instilling hope in others, no matter what their background, that it is possible to achieve things within their life. Therefore I see the novel's ending as integral to the story and as an inspiration of hope. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...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)

    Then he push his thing inside my pussy." This is a powerful example because of the crude sexual references towards abuse, the strong imagery created by Walker's choice of words, that shocks the reader with its directness and the colloquialisms used by Celie reflect her thoughts, it makes the comments more personal.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Walker's presentation of Sofia and Harpo.

    4 star(s)

    The steps symbolise his position, Harpo is lost, and he doesn't know where to go; does he continue the uphill climb towards a better life, or does he sink into a life of regret. Walker then introduces the idea that Harpo is making a net for fishing.

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Explore Walkers Portrayal of Female Identity - The Color Purple

    4 star(s)

    Unlike the other women in The Color Purple Shug Avery is the only character doesn't seem to be overpowered by a man. The men in her life are love interests and not men trying to degrade her or mould her into the woman they want.

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

    which had once been derelict, but when the camera zooms out it is clear to see that the library is now brimming with excited and anticipatory customers. This shot also helps to highlight the colour that has been injected into the scene.

  1. Gender roles in The Color Purple.

    considered to be better than women and are supposed to have the "upper hand." The women of Africa and the Olinka tribe had very similar roles to women of the same time period in America however different or extreme they seemed to be.

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

    and you can see how much Lucy really wants this baby, and how she would make a great mother. From here, the action really starts and the book gets really exciting and almost impossible to put down. As I mentioned before the writing of this book is brilliant, but as

  1. Analyse and discuss the themes of slavery and racism in the Color Purple. How ...

    terrible working conditions, minimalistic food and drink and housing (if any), he would be beaten and abused, the slave would also not be given any possessions, he would not be allowed to own anything, this links also with Celie's situation, she has no possessions, only her pen and paper, her children were taken away and sold by her father.

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

    Mr__ becomes a dog for Shug Avery, which is seen by several viewers as hilarious, as he too has 'raped' Celie, even though she is his very own wife, but now is at the command and under the power of another female character, who has ordered him to stop smoking.

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