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The “Color Purple” and “Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit” are both disturbing and uncomfortable novels, compare these two novels

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Introduction

This document was downloaded from Coursework.Info - The UK's Coursework Database Click here to visit Courswork.Info The Color Purple and Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit are both disturbing and uncomfortable novels. Compare these two novels in light of this observation. Pay close attention to the methods used. Both The Color Purple and Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit are written in the first person, "I am fourteen years old", "I lived for a long time with my mother and father". This means that the reader is engaged with the central characters in both novels from the start. Celie and Jeanette come from very different countries, cultures and races, but have fundamental similarities that both authors use to create feelings that are uncomfortable and disturbing within the reader. However, both authors also succeed in transforming that which we perceive as uncomfortable into something we view as empowering and liberating by the end of the novels. Thematically both novels deal with similar ideas, religion, spirituality, identity, sexuality and making the most of your birthright, but reducing the novels to such a list of ideas fails to communicate the intricate patterning of the themes throughout the lives and experiences of the novel's central characters. Both authors use first person narrators as the primary means of engaging the reader with the text and both authors interweave thematic content into the experiences of their central narrators in a realistic and naturalistic way. ...read more.

Middle

Winterson suggests with the use of listing that Jeanette is a tool to explore her own ideas of religion. "A missionary child" a servant of God a blessing" Jeanette is the fulfilment of a prophecy, she is her mothers tangible token of the saviour, "I cannot recall a time when I did not know that I was special." However, this ambition of the mothers dose seem melodramatic and comical to the reader. Religion is exposed through the novel as potentially corrupting. The dogmatic and melodramatic nature of the mother creates a humour that reiterates the idea that religion is not to be taken at face value. Deeper streams of thought lie beneath the ceremony and rituals. As in life, deeper thought lies beneath the faces of individuals. When cross-referenced however with 'The Color Purple', religion is exposed as pathetic. Celie's letters and devotion to her "God" like listener leaves her ever more vulnerable. However, because she is not influenced by our morality the child sees no wrong in what is happening to her. Certain influential characters have always moulded individual existence. This is evident in both novels. Having suffered the torment of repeated rape, and having to leave go of her children, she is both emotionally and sexually sterile, "I don't bleed no more". Celie's character is hit again when having to let go of Nettie. ...read more.

Conclusion

Celie does not seem at all connected with the girl we have seen grow throughout the novel. In this way can be considered like a fairy story and we can believe in a happy ending. If it is viewed as a fairy story its connection with the real world is diminished, as the gritty reality of Celie's life is transformed. But how can a 'fairy tale' evolve from so much so much grotesque and disturbing content? Is what we consider disturbing and uncomfortable just lingo for what we don't understand, or is Walker doing something even more complex as the Cinderella, rags to riches this transformation serves to emphasise the horrors of Celie's past. In comparison "Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit" presents Jeanette in a quest for identity as in the vein of "The Ugly Duckling". Both Jeanette and her mother are engaged in a quest to attain a sense of identity beyond the limitations placed on them as relatively poor people in a male dominated class prejudiced society. There differences from mainstream society cause them to be ostracised, but their sense of being "called to be apart" simultaneously enables them to forge an identity for themselves in defiance of the culturally prescribed roles for women. In both the realist and fantasy narratives, Jeanette's quest entails a break from the manipulative control of her mother. This fairy tale plays out the conflict between Jeanette and her mother for control over Jeanette's future and identity. This document was downloaded from Coursework.Info - The UK's Coursework Database Click here to visit Coursework.Info/ ...read more.

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