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

Compare and contrast the ways the authors use first person narrative to present the abused heroines in 'The Color Purple' and 'I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings'.

Extracts from this document...


Compare and contrast the ways the authors use first person narrative to present the abused heroines in 'The Color Purple' and 'I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings'. 'I know Why The Caged Bird Sings' written by Maya Angelou and 'The Color Purple' by Alice Walker both express the same main themes of, abuse, racism and overcoming difficulties. Maya Angelou tends to reflect past circumstances and often conveys her views through her novels and poetry. Alice Walker similarly writes about the situations between men and women, showing a more negative side to males. Both of these women use their styles successfully in both of the books I have chosen. The main protagonist in 'The Color Purple' is a black woman named Celie. Throughout the novel she finds herself struggling through degrees of abuse before finally finding her own identity. She is raped by her stepfather, who through most of the novel she believes is her real father, then abused a great deal by Albert (her husband) and is separated from her only family, her sister Nettie. All of what Celie is going through and Netties life is told in epistolary form. ...read more.


When Celie finds out that Shug is coming to town, her tone in which she writes changes and is more of an exciting tone. 'Shug Avery is coming to town!' Not only does this allow the reader to get excited along with her but it also portrays a sense of happiness in which Celie is feeling. Further on in the same letter Celie talks about how Mr is getting ready to see Shug sing and how he is making a huge effort, 'Look at himself, then undress and dress all over again' The way in which Celie describes Albert allows us as the reader to imagine him scampering about asking her opinions, this also add humour to the novel which is a minor element conveyed throughout. Also Celie gives Albert a compliment for the first time and he responds, You think so? She as well as the reader finds this surprising, as he never asks her opinion on anything. It shows their development together and the slight effort to understand each other. By the end of this letter we find that Celie begins to admire Shug giving this sense of her finally admitting what she likes for a change. ...read more.


Even though at this point Celie becomes more assertive her reasons for being so angry at Albert is not because he abused her but for taking Nettie away from her. 'You took my sister away from me, I say' This provokes the reader as they want Celie to start thinking about her and what seem to be going on within her life but yet she is still concerned about others. Also her way of addressing Albert is 'Mr___' showing her to be weak, at the end of the novel she finally calls him Albert equalising herself with him and conveying her strength, growth and her as an independent woman. 'Oh I say, a little Albert carve for me' Like Caged Bird the book ends with the main protagonist finally being happy which the reader has been awaiting. It ends with Celie and Nettie finally being reunited and Celie expresses her feelings more clearly than she ever in the book to promote her happiness. Caged Bird is written into chapters with the language contrasting along with the narrator's voice. The language is quite complex conveying the adult but also the child speaking as an adult, portraying the idea that Maya felt she had to grow up much quicker due to what happened to her. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE 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 GCSE Alice Walker essays

  1. Comment on the growth of Celie's character throughout The Color Purple.

    Her accurate observances of those around her, along with the fact that she learns to read without schooling, demonstrates to the reader that she is not without natural intelligence. Celie's mother dies when she is fourteen, leaving her to look after her younger siblings, defenseless against her abusive father.

  2. The Color Purple: Literary Techniques Employed by Alice Walker to Develop Celie's Character.

    Pants, for instance, illustrate a direct application of symbolism. Trousers usually denote masculinity; thus, Celie's incorporation of them into her wardrobe symbolizes her attainment of masculinity and � because the majority of the novel's men are portrayed as having this � dominance.

  1. Compare how each writer presents Black women's struggles in 'The Color Purple' and 'I ...

    Both characters regard God differently in their novels. Celie is more involved and is not capable of seeing beyond her own small life. While Angelou keeps us detached as Ritie is to what is going on around her. She believes that the black community use the existence of God to ease the pain they suffer in the 'white' world.

  2. An Analysis of Daughters of the Dust and The Color Purple using Black Feminist ...

    the dominant depictions of black women in film, and how and in what way they take an oppositional stance to mainstream cinema. Part of the black feminist struggle, according to the above theorists, is to rewrite black history in order to challenge its negative stereotypes, give black women a voice

  1. The differences between the novel by Alice Walker, "The Color Purple" and the film ...

    At first sight the movie seems very similar to the original story expressed in the book. In the opening scenes Celie�s father even uses the same words: "You better not never tell nobody but God. It�d kill your mammy." (Walker 1982, p.

  2. Examine Walker's narrative techniques in The Color Purple including consideration of the use of ...

    Barbara Christian adds to this "fragment and whole" observation with another. Her perception of the novel's structure is similar to that of a quilt, in that each letter is an individual piece and each piece is enhanced by the surrounding pieces.

  1. The impact of 'The Color Purple' is emotional rather than intellectual and this exemplifies ...

    However, when his owner found out he said 'If you teach that nigger to read...it would forever unfit him to be a slave...it would make his discontented and unhappy.' Here we see a view which is carried through to Celie's time - people in positions of power (in Celie's case white people, Pa and Mr -)

  2. ORANGES ARE NOT THE ONLY FRUIT Compare and contrast the two characters of Celie ...

    Through the course of her story, Celie meets a series of other Black women who shape her life: Nettie, Celie's sister, who becomes a missionary teacher in Africa; Shug Avery, the Blues singer who saves Celie from her abusive husband and helps her become a stronger person and finally Sofia, her larger than life daughter- in- law.

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