GCSE: Alice Walker

Meet the team of inpirational teachers who mark our essays

find out about the team

Join Marked by Teachers to get help from over 80 teachers and 180,000 essays

54 GCSE Alice Walker essays

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  1. The Colour Purple - letter to Celie

    Celie you proved your Pa wrong. Your heart is made of gold and I know your habit of sewing has made you a very wealthy woman. I know now I put you through a lot of misery. You spent your wedding day with a bandage on your head 'cause Harpo laid your head open. You must be very angry 'cause I didn't punish him, just told him don't do that.

    • Essay length: 500 words
  2. In what way does Walker present the developments of the character Celie in the novel, and what are the influences which cause her to change?.

    In her first letter, Celie asks for direction because she does not understand what is happening to her. Alphonso Celie's father, has turned to Celie for sexual pleasure because Celie's mother is ill and can no longer continue with Alphonso's sexual demands. He threatens Celie by saying "you better not never tell nobody but God, it'd kill your mummy" this is a multiple negative command. This means that not only is Celie being abused by her father; she is also being blackmailed of killing her mother from misery if she was to tell on him. This quote proves that Celie's father has always made Celie feel guilty for what was never her fault to begin with.

    • Essay length: 1317 words
  3. Examine The Ways In Which Alice Walker Uses Language To Reflect Celies Growing Maturity And Confidence.

    Nor does the reader feel any sense of distaste towards Celie. Instead, Walker succeeds in depicting Celie as merely an ignorant and innocent child. Another early indicator of Celie's immaturity is found in her sentence structure. Celie's writing is colloquial in that she writes as she or a contemporary would speak. For example, a sentence in the first letter begins with 'and' as many young children or those inexperienced with language rules would speak or write. Moreover, despite the fact the second letter is written more than nine months later than the first, Celie's naiveté is still apparent.

    • Essay length: 856 words
  4. Essay on The Colour Purple

    She repeats the words 'He' and 'She' that refer to her mother and father. The repetition of those words shows she has very little respect and has a lot of hate for them. In this letter the audience can also see that she really does not like men for the way she stresses the word 'he' which refers to her father, who she does not name as she does not like him since he has been raping her from as long as she can remember.

    • Essay length: 1148 words
  5. I am going to use the film 'The Colour Purple' to look at the way Steven Spielberg uses media techniques to look at the injustices faced by black people in South America in the 1930's.

    Then Celie to a new home with Mr. (who's name we do not know). But Mr. Prefers Nettie. Nettie then later moves in with Celie and Mr. Who then tries to rape Nettie on her way to school, but she fights back and stops him from doing so. When Nettie returns Mr. Kicks her out. She then promises to write to Celie but none of her letters reach her. Later on Celie meets Shug Avery who Mr falls in love with. When Celie grows up, Shug Avery helps Celie to find the letters when Mr went away.

    • Essay length: 1758 words
  6. The Color Purple is too concerned with the personal experiences of Celie to be a successful political novel

    The violence aspect is presented in a variety of ways, most predominately rape itself. Walkers exploration of a patriarchal society is at its most powerful in her portrayal of Celie's rape by her father .The book opens with this image, which eludes you to the rest of the book when it states plainly " ...he grab hold of my titties. Then he push his thing inside my pussy. When that hurt I cry...You better shut up and git used to it".

    • Essay length: 4489 words
  7. GCSE DRAMA COURSEWORK

    We did this exercise to help us get to grips with the character of Netti and this allows us to be able to play her better, and allows us to know her character better. We also had a brainstorming session to help us connect emotional words to the character of Netti and we then created frozen images expressing these feelings that Netti would have felt, and we did this because this helped us to play the character better and allowed us to explore the mind of Netti.

    • Essay length: 862 words
  8. Discuss how Walker and Atwood present the self awakening of key characters within the Colour Purple and Margaret Atwood poems.

    This is a similar opinion to that of Richard Wesley, who states that, "No one in America, Black America especially, should be telling writers what they may or may not say." Celie is strongly disempowered by sex. The novel starts with her being raped by Pa, showing an immediate inability to resist on her part. When she is married to Mr., he mistreats her as much as Pa did. Celie describes sex as something which is done to her, but never as something which she enjoys.

    • Essay length: 3104 words
  9. How does the author use descriptive language to show how Myop changes throughout the story? After reading the story 'The flowers' by Alice Walker I observed that Myop, the main character in the story, slowly matures throughout

    She is not shocked or surprised when she hits the chickens. She is only 10 years of age and has nothing to worry about apart from the task at hand; she taps to the tune of her song. The words used are fair and light. They describe the happiness that Myop is feeling. 'Myop watched the tiny white bubbles disrupt the thin black scale of soil and the water that silently rose and slid away down the stream' this shows that she is getting more observant of her surroundings and if fascinated by a small happening.

    • Essay length: 679 words
  10. The impact of 'The Color Purple' is emotional rather than intellectual and this exemplifies the fact that for the society presented in the novel intellectual pursuit is futile

    He says 'she ain't smart...but she can work like a man' (page 97). Most women in the novel seem to be looked upon as cleaners, cooks and child raisers - a view that has been encouraged by a patriarchal world. Celie's education is terminated because she is 'big', so her sister tries to teach her what she has learnt at school. She is devastated when Alphonso says she cannot go to school anymore, but Nettie says that their teacher thinks 'Celie smart too' (page 11). However, it could be suggested that Pa sees their teacher (Miss Beasley), an educated women as a threat, but he comments on how no one will marry her, so she had to be a teacher.

    • Essay length: 2980 words
  11. 'The Flowers' is a short story written by Alice Walker. Walker is a black American writer, who is renown around the world, especially because of the 'book, turned movie'

    This suggests she is young and holds no major responsibilities, there are also connotations of lower class roots. The story goes on to describe her mini- travels throughout the fields, picking flowers and singing songs. This suggests the innocence she possesses as a young child. " She was ten, and nothing existed for her but her song". This openly tells the reader her young age, thus her lack of responsibility, which allowed her to skip around the fields aimlessly. The structure of the short story is basic.

    • Essay length: 1066 words
  12. In an essay of not more than 1500 words explain how this statement informs your reading of The Colour Purple, and one other prose fiction text form Literature and Gender.

    She is not able to defend herself due to her multiple jeopardy, of being a woman, being black and being uneducated. Celie is a woman who, through being raped and beaten by her 'Pa', is 'taught to fear men and devalue herself' (p.55 LG). As her letters progress, she grows in confidence within and about her own language. In an early letter to God, written when her Pa stopped her going to school after he got her pregnant the first time and her younger sister continued to go, shows how she wanted to be educated, 'I feel bad sometime Nettie done pass me in learnin' (p.12 TCP).

    • Essay length: 1759 words
  13. ORANGES ARE NOT THE ONLY FRUIT Compare and contrast the two characters of Celie and Jeanette. Consider the influence of religion on the two main protagonists.

    She left her parents in 1975 after starting a relationship with another woman. She attended St. Catherine's College in Oxford and graduated from there with a degree in English. Over the years she has published many stories mainly involving lesbian fiction, as well as film scripts. Alice Walker was born on February 9, 1944 into a family of sharecroppers near Eatonton, Georgia. Her father, Willie Lee Walker, was the grandson of slaves. She named the character of Nettie in, "The Color Purple" which she wrote in 1982 after her grandmother. Alice is a world traveller and considers herself to be a spiritual explorer.

    • Essay length: 1926 words
  14. In Love and Trouble- A Book of Women with Triple Burden

    Living in a white-dominant society, they are oppressed by the white. Their race also leads to their poverty. Being in a male-dominant society, they are abused by their husbands who are themselves abused by the white. "These women [are] simply defeated in one way or another by the external circumstances of their lives" (Washington 89-90). In Roselily, Roselily is also a victim of the triple burden. Although there is no direct description of how she is oppressed by the white, it is implied: "She can imagine God, a small black boy [my emphasis], timidly pulling the preacher's coattail" (4).

    • Essay length: 2368 words
  15. COMPARE AND CONTRAST THE DEPICTION OF CELIE'S STRUGGLE IN STEVEN SPIELBURG'S FILM VERSION OF 'THE COLOR PURPLE' AND THE NOVEL

    This having been said, each media handles the topic in very different fashions. Alice Walker enforces explicit imagery of rape onto the reader, so as to comprehend some of this girl's evident pain; on the other hand, Spielburg chooses to jump straight into a vision of an agonizing birth of Celie's second child, hence showing the consequences of the terrible abuse she has suffered. Both interpretations are particularly disturbing and provoke interest from the audience or reader, considering the unequivocal, abusive language present in Celie's opening letter, and the dreadful screams that we are to witness after only minutes of the film.

    • Essay length: 618 words
  16. An Analysis of Daughters of the Dust and The Color Purple using Black Feminist Theory

    Her 1982 book Women, Race and Class sets about exposing the previously overlooked assumptions of American feminism by revealing the racism and classism of white feminists, while stressing the strategic interdependences of gender, race and class. In this book she problematises the white feminist concept that sees all women as a homogenous group, and sets about correcting previous histories of slavery illustrating how black women have always been actively involved in resistance struggle. She also depicts how the priorities of white feminists are vastly different from black feminists, because of their differing histories, and offers a more accurate historical account of black women's roles during slavery.

    • Essay length: 4172 words
  17. Review of Alice Walker's essay on the creative spirit of her female ancestors

    Walker speaks about how creative spirit can be passed down from generation to generation. At the age of 17 Walker's mother ran away from home to be married. While taking care of six children, Alice's mother also had to battle with a white landlord over her children's education, make clothes for all of her children, make sheets and towels, can vegetables and fruits, and still find some time in the day to make quilts. Alice's mother barely had time to deal with obstacles pertaining to her own creative spirit.

    • Essay length: 1142 words
  18. Ideas and themes in 'The Flowers' By Alice Walker

    Walker also highlights the setting around Myop, playing on the character's senses. "The harvesting of the corn and cotton, peanuts and squash made each day and golden surprise". By doing this Walker reveals more about Myop's background. We can see from the crops used "cotton and squash" that her family are obviously farmers. We can also see how Myop's senses are important to her and her reactions to the crops around her show off her child-like qualities. "A golden surprise that caused excited little tremors run up her jaws".

    • Essay length: 1077 words
  19. Analysing 'The Colour Purple' Film

    This is effective because it shocks us the audience and is hard hitting. Spielberg also creates this mood by tracking the girls running around in the flowers, we as the audience see a close up of the purple flowers, which establishes their freedom. As the girls are running around in a field of purple flowers, the flowers are representative of the title of the film, the suffering and bruises and also the celebration during the film. When Celie emerges from the field and we see that she is pregnant, Spielberg chooses to use a long shot of Celie which pauses

    • Essay length: 4344 words
  20. Alice Walker's depiction of men in The Color Purple has been controversial. Explore the opinions of the two critics and explain your own views of the way Walker presents men in The Color Purple.

    In many ways Walker's novel opens people's eyes to an unheard of topic and encourages discussion on it. I disagree that Alice Walker's intentions in the novel were to portray all black men as abusive, uncaring people. I believe Walker had more interest in exploring the female role. How they were treated, how they thought and behaved, and their unexpressed feelings. The protagonist in the novel is Celie who accompanies us throughout the entire novel. In my opinion the novel is about Celie's life from a child and the obstacles that she must overcome to develop into the strong woman that she becomes.

    • Essay length: 2404 words
  21. To what extent do you find

    So this shows "the color purple" in an optimistic light. The use of an authentic black voice is optimistic. The book is an epistolary, and the letters in the book are written in the way the characters would speak. Words are abbreviated and the sentences are usually very short. The vocabulary is often limited although the thoughts of the characters are often complicated. Phonetic spelling is also used for example "kilt" (killed) and "yawl" (you all), the grammar used in the book is often unconventional for example "us surrounded".

    • Essay length: 1124 words
  22. How has Alice Walker explored the themes of love and friendship in "The Color Purple", and with what effect?

    However, these female relationships also take other forms involving a certain level of love; such as motherly or sisterly, teacher and student, and even sexual. The friendship between Shug and Celie allows for them to experience all of these forms as Shug often plays the role of mother, teacher, and friend to Celie, yet also aids her sexually, while Celie takes the passive role. However, Celie too plays the role of mother to Shug at times. At the onset of this epistolary novel, Celie's world revolves only around colonialism by whites and exploitation by whites and males, however at the

    • Essay length: 1337 words
  23. Explore the theme of the creation of women's identities in The Color Purple and The Yellow Wallpaper. Include a detailed examination of how the form of each fiction contributes to the impact of the narratives.

    Her misspellings and direct imitation of dialect enforce this unworldly perception we have of her. The fact she starts her letters with 'Dear God' seals the trust we hold with the narrator - addressing her letters to God would suggest that she is telling the truth and relating events as they actually happened. Celie finds a comfort in her letters to God - a purging of the violence she is subject to. Natalia Atkinson PI: W7234978 A210: TMA05 05/07/2004 We understand Celie's deep love and affection for other women, as she tries to divert Alfonso's attention from Nettie and her sick stepmother; 'He beat me for dressing trampy but he do it to me anyway.'

    • Essay length: 1972 words
  24. Comment on the growth of Celie's character throughout The Color Purple.

    Although addressing God, Celie describes him grabbing hold of her "titties". She continues "Then he push his thing inside my pussy". The inappropriate use of sexual slang is typical of the language within the novel, which rarely coheres to conventional grammar or spelling. Many words are written phonetically and slang terms are frequently employed. Celie had no formal education - her stepfather refused to let her go to school, using the excuse that she was "too dumb to keep going to school" to keep her at home and hide her pregnancy.

    • Essay length: 1881 words
  25. The differences between the novel by Alice Walker, "The Color Purple" and the film by the same name, directed by Steven Spielberg.

    Other forms explored by Walker are sewing and song, both of which feature also in The Color Purple and act as signs of empowerment for women, and a uniting force (consider, for example, Celie scratching a song out of Shug's head, and Squeak's empowerment through song). Letter writing is just one method through which we perceive Celie's gaining strength. The voices of Celie and Nettie, although united in their letters and woven together (to use an appropriate metaphor), contrast sharply with each other.

    • Essay length: 6092 words

Conclusion analysis

Good conclusions usually refer back to the question or title and address it directly - for example by using key words from the title.
How well do you think these conclusions address the title or question? Answering these questions should help you find out.

  1. Do they use key words from the title or question?
  2. Do they answer the question directly?
  3. Can you work out the question or title just by reading the conclusion?
  • Each writer believes that language empowers women. How successfully is this shown in the play and novel? Evaluate and investigate the ways in which each author achieves this and explore how satisfactory the end is to each text.

    "Timberlake Wertenbaker creates a problem with what exactly the convicts have achieved by the end of the play. On one hand, the convicts eventually achieve their own sense of self, and become valuable members of the Australian colony, but this suggestion is ominous and it may be safer to say that the convicts merely accepted a dominant discourse of speech, which developed their articulacy and temporarily empowered themselves. However I find the ending satisfactory to the text, due to the sentimental justification of theatre as a means of empowering people. Both Alice Walker and Timberlake Wertenbaker use the power of language to empower the women in the texts. Walker and Wertenbaker both argue that the empowerment of women is possible through the establishment of ones own voice and that sustaining this language is vital in obtaining a sense of self. Both the authors successfully show that language empowers women, by highlighting the progression of their empowerment, as they are influenced to develop their language. Through this progressive structure of the novel and play, a satisfactory end is deduced, which brings about a sense that the women have established their own language, which in turn leads to their empowerment. Hollie Grantham. Page 1"

  • Compare how each writer presents Black women's struggles in 'The Color Purple' and 'I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings'.

    "Neither the women characters nor the authors comment on the outrageous acts carried out by the black men. To a certain extent they accept and understand this oppression because of the culture and the time they grew up in. This adds to the struggle, as the oppression has become a way of life from which there is no escape. In both novels the female characters struggle to survive and find some respect comes through. These women don't blame the black men as they are united with them against the whites and their unreasonable attitudes. This is evident in both novels. In my opinion Walker is more successful in presenting the problems as she showed us how black women relied on God and each other as well as believing in themselves to face these problems."

  • Compare and Contrast two extracts from the novel The Color Purple

    "In conclusion, the two extracts represent different stages within the emotion and spiritual development of the protagonist, Celie. From a young naïve southern black girl she matures to independent, emotionally fluent woman capable of functioning freely within a male dominated society. In doing show, Alice Walker provides the reader with a stark image concerning the hostility and dominance of the male society over women during the time. 1 First extract - 'Dear God, I am fourteen years old ... But too sick to last' 2 Second extract - ' Dear Nettie, Well you know ... Amen, say Shug. Amen, amen' 3 Towards the end of the novel after the second extract Albert's views on women do change."

Marked by a teacher

This essay has been marked by one of our great teachers. You can read the full teachers notes when you download the essay.

Peer reviewed

This essay has been reviewed by one of our specialist student essay reviewing squad. Read the full review on the essay page.

Peer reviewed

This essay has been reviewed by one of our specialist student essay reviewing squad. Read the full review under the essay preview on this page.