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GCSE: Alice Walker

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  1. 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.

    • Word count: 1148
  2. 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.

    • Word count: 1758
  3. '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.

    • Word count: 1066
  4. 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).

    • Word count: 1759
  5. 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.

    • Word count: 1926
  6. 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.

    • Word count: 1142
  7. 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".

    • Word count: 1077
  8. 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".

    • Word count: 1124
  9. 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

    • Word count: 1337
  10. 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.'

    • Word count: 1972
  11. 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.

    • Word count: 1881
  12. 'The Color Purple' - How realistic is the presentation of the Olinka? What contribution does the story of Olinka make to the novel as a whole?

    Nettie writes in Letter 61, 'the people here catch and eat.' Education is an interesting part of the social structure. Similar to Celie being denied an education in America after falling pregnant due to rape, women are not allowed to be educated in the Olinka tribe as education leads to knowledge and then dissatisfaction. The Olinka men want the women to continue to work without question, something best achieved when they are uneducated. Tashi's Father highlights this in Letter 63 by undervaluing his own daughter, 'There is no place here for a woman to do those things.'

    • Word count: 1656
  13. The Color Purple: Literary Techniques Employed by Alice Walker to Develop Celie's Character.

    No matter what I'm thinking. No matter what I feel. It just him. Heartfeeling don't even seem to enter into it." (69) Celie's continual surrender was marked by hopelessness. She believed that resistance would only do to her what she thought it had done to her sister Nettie: "I think bout Nettie, dead. She fight, she run away. What good it do? I don't fight, I stay where I'm told. But I'm alive." (22) Apparently, Celie believed that hoping for a passionate life of affection would only lead to her own demise.

    • Word count: 1386
  14. What message do you think Alice Walker is trying to convey in the short story 'Nineteen fifty-five'?

    The Civil Rights Movement that swept through the Southern states in the 1950's and 1960's affects the lives of all Americans today. We now have many laws against discrimination, laws that were created in response to the movement. We all live in a country that is coming to acknowledge that discrimination is wrong. This is just one of the many messages that Alice Walker wants the reader to pick up on and notice. Gracie Mae is shocked that Traynor and the deacon are in her neighbourhood.

    • Word count: 1702
  15. Discuss Alice Walker's presentation of the plight of women in a mans' world in "The Color Purple".

    The women in those days were thought of as something that a man owned. Once the woman was his he was to do what he pleased with her2. Celie was to obey him and only him, she was to be with him and only him and did not matter whether he was faithful to her or not. Celie was like a slave3. 'He does his business on top of me'.4 Celie wrote this in her journal. This shows that having sex wasn't to deal with love or even passion; it was just Albert doing what he had to do. Through all these traumatizing events, Celie lost respect for her and forgot how to love.

    • Word count: 1470
  16. The Life Lesson of "Everyday Use" by Alice Walker.

    Their home was small and cramped especially with 5 older brothers living there with her. It was extremely hot in the summer and equally cold in the winter and also if it rained the roof would leak. Walker was a very intelligent girl who had no trouble getting through school and the teachers saw that, so she was placed in first grade ahead of everyone else. But her good luck would come to an end. At the age of 8, Walker was outside playing a game of "Cowboys and Indians" with one of her older brothers when he struck Walker in her right eye with a BB pellet on accident.

    • Word count: 1507
  17. The colour purple - Analysis of the 1st three letters.

    This 1st letter shocks the reader with its graphic description of Celie being raped by her father. Black and uneducated, she can only detail the abuse with words such as "titties" and "pussy;" although the words are crude, they are the only ones that Celie knows for her anatomy. But also this sort of language implies to us that it's the way Alfonso speaks to her. Almost as disturbing as the description of the rape is Celie's not being able to speak to her mother about it. In fact, Celie seems to be protecting her mother. As long as her father abuses her, Celie knows that her mother will be freed from her father's horrible brutality.

    • Word count: 1132
  18. One of Alice Walkers themes as a feminist writer is the support women give each other - Making reference to Nettie's letter on pages 141-142 from "friendship among women" to the end of the letter discuss how she conveys this theme in the color purple.

    Some of Walker's critics claim that Walker uses much "wit" and has "an amazing way with words". At the beginning of the novel, Celie has many misfortunes and negative ordeals including rape and several beatings but at the end of the novel she survives, grows in confidence, maturity and becomes independent due to the support given from other female characters. Celie is freed from degradation by men, marriage and the patriarchy and patriarchal society that was present at the time of the novel.

    • Word count: 1472
  19. An analysis of the Effectiveness of Letters 1-6 of The Color Purple by Alice Walker.

    These convey the information quickly whilst also shocking us and therefore grabbing our attention. For instance in letter 1, Celie writes her experience of being raped by her father in just 5 lines- "He start to choke me, saying You better shut up and git used to it." This style is emphasised in the other letters but especially in Letter 2. The letter starts- "My mama dead. She die screaming and cussing." The short sentences also create a sense of a world where traumatic events and violence are the norm. Letter 4- "His wife died.

    • Word count: 1586
  20. Consider the opening scenes to Steven Spielberg's "The Color Purple."

    Spielberg uses composition so the viewer responds to it and takes sides with the sisters rather than the dad. Another use of composition is when in scene five Mister is on the horse and Celie is helping along the cow this reflects the power at the time. Showing how women are second to men which make you sympathise to her even more as women are mistreated. Composition tells us lots about Celie's it firstly emphases that Celie is the main character and that although she gets a lot of pain in the first scenes that she is a strong character and will get through it.

    • Word count: 1640
  21. What, in your opinion, is the key moment In 'The Color Purple' by Alice Walker?

    Before Celie has known Shug from a photograph and has found sisterly reassurance in her eyes. Now it is eyes that command attention. Though feverish, they look 'mean', ready to kill a snake and not scotch it. A more evocative term still is used twice. Shug is 'more evil than my mama' and that is what keeps her alive. She is too evil to let Albert hold her hand. This sort of evil is obviously not the usual sense of moral depravity to be seen, for example, in Alphonso. It indicates malice, as in 'an evil temper', but also has a broad range of positive meaning when applied to Shug.

    • Word count: 1662
  22. To What Extent Do You Find The Color Purple An Optimistic Novel

    Her conclusion was that as Shug was "like a queen..." to her she would wear "something purple"- the royal colour. This colour represented dignity for Celie. Towards the end of the novel Celie had matured enough to assert her independence and leave the oppressive Mr__. At this point she was finally emancipated, however before she left, she denounced her saying "You black, you pore, you ugly, you a women, Goddam, he say, you nothing at all". In turn, she was finally able to retaliate, "Anything you do to me, already done to you".

    • Word count: 1259
  23. Examine Alice Walkers Presentation of Men In “the Colour Purple”.

    The letter correspondence stayed constant for many a year till they finally met about 20yrs later. There are many evil men in the novel who are shown in a bad light and thus creating a degrading environment for women, in my opinion in the novel Purple I can see no problem in the representation of the black men because during thoughts times there was much hardship and grief in the South and so men had most and if not all the love for there wives drained out of them.

    • Word count: 1573
  24. Discuss the presentation of Albert in ‘The Color Purple’

    Celie fears for Nettie; "it nearly kill me to think she might marry somebody like Mr._" this shows she cannot think of a worse fate, Nettie describes Celie's marriage as "It's like seeing you buried". Mr._ likes Nettie "Your skin. Your Hair. Your teefs", but when she doesn't comply he is ruthless "she got to go", Celie asks "where she gon go?" "I don't care he say". Living with Mr._ is so horrible Celie shuts off her emotions just so she can cope "But I don't cry".

    • Word count: 1515
  25. The Personal Development of the Narrator in “The Color Purple”.

    It'd kill your mother". And at the start of the second diary entry (page 4) it begins "My mammy dead", this seems to suggest the narrators stepfather has told her mother about the rapings and the baby? Her mother begins "screaming" and "cussing" at her. This give the impression that the story told could have been in the stepfathers favor and made to look like the narrator's doing? Referring to the bottom of page 3 it says "She happy" (the narrator's mother) this indicates she doesn't know anything about any sex and/or raping that's has occurred.

    • Word count: 1768

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 na�ve 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."

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