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

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

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

The Color Purple: Literary Techniques Employed by Alice Walker to Develop Celie's Character by Hialy Gutierrez September 12, 2002 "It all I can do not to cry. I make myself wood. I say to myself, Celie, you a tree. That's how I know trees fear man," (23) uttered the protagonist of Alice Walker's The Color Purple. Such words of meekness were characteristic of Celie's speech � that is, in the beginning of the novel. As the novel progressed, however, Celie's acquiescent behavior transformed into one of resilience and dignity. By incorporating the literary techniques of tone, symbolism, and juxtaposition into her novel, Alice Walker was able to develop Celie's character, emphasizing her progression from subservience to independence. Tone serves as an important device in personifying a novel's character. Such is the case in The Color Purple. In her subservient state, Celie responded little, if at all, to the abuse she was exposed to. For instance, Celie stated in a despondent tone that whenever she had been forced to enter into sexual intercourse, she would apathetically yield, allowing either her Pa or Mr. ______ to "git up there and enjoy himself just the same. No matter what I'm thinking. No matter what I feel. ...read more.

Middle

Yet, the pants not only enabled Celie to become self-confident, but also to become self-sufficient. It was through her pants factory that Celie was able to acquire independence from financial assistance from Shug and Mr. _____, despite the discouragements of Mr. ______: "You not getting a penny of my money... not one thin dime. Nothing up North for nobody like you... All you fit to do in Memphis is be Shug's maid... you nothing at all." (208, 212-213) In order to progress out of subservience, it was necessary for Celie to gain a sense of self-esteem. Celie was able to obtain this through Shug's religious notions. Shug was able to instill in Celie the concept that God is an inward force that gives meaning to everything that exists in nature, including the unobtrusive color purple. Because the color purple is often unnoticed and neglected in fields, it symbolizes Celie in her submissive state. After adopting Shug's religious ideals, Celie was able to fully appreciate nature. Moreover, Celie was so convinced that she possessed a bond with the earth that she believed she was able to "curse" Mr. ______ through the power of nature's "trees, "air," and "dirt." (213-214) Accompanying Celie's newfound appreciation for nature was Celie's appreciation for the color purple and, therefore, her own existence. ...read more.

Conclusion

As the novel progressed, the similarity between Celie and Harpo lessened, while the contrast between Celie and Shug and Sofia became less distinct. With the encouragement of Shug and Sofia, Celie was able to shun the submissive lifestyle that she and Harpo once lived. "You ought to bash Mr. _____ head open," (44) Sofia urged, willing Celie to break out of her passivity. At the same time, Shug inspired Celie to view love, life, and God with a new perspective � a perspective that impelled her to be "at peace with the world." (255) She also granted Celie the money she needed to establish her own pants factory. The assimilation of the influences brought on by Shug and Sofia, thus, enabled Celie to become the individual she deserved to be � an independent, confident, and resilient woman. "I'm pore, I'm black, I may be ugly and can't cook... but I'm here," (214) Celie declared assertively towards the end of Alice Walker's The Color Purple. Such words of audacity were not always characteristic of the protagonist's speech. In the early chapters of the novel, Celie clearly demonstrated a submissive temperament. Towards the end of the novel, however, Celie achieved a sense of self-respect. Alice Walker was able to effectively detail this achievement of independence by incorporating the language techniques of tone, symbolism, and juxtaposition. ...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. The differences between the novel by Alice Walker, "The Color Purple" and the film ...

    In this essay I�d like to compare the movie with the original work by the author raising questions like: What are the major differences? How are the characters portrayed? What are the reactions of the audience? First I will give a short descripton of the circumstances of the actual production to show how the filmmakers approached their task.

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

    In this statement, Watkins seems to be also referring to the refreshing style in which Celie writes as well as how this style of writing conveys the story far better than Standard English ever could. I believe she is also arguing that the black vernacular adds realism to a novel set in a 'folk' setting.

  1. 'The Color Purple' by Alice Walker shocks us with rape and violence.

    This helps Celie strengthen her relationship with Mr ____. Therefore they are helping each other in turn. We also see this type of unbreakable bond between Sofia and her sisters. When Sofia is having trouble with Harpo, her sisters immediately come to help her out.

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

    voices represented are an authentic representation of these particular black women, rather than their words and thoughts transposed into a dialect fit for a mass media audience. Dash's use of these devices serves to undermine hegemonic history and its western accounts in which black women's voices are invisible, and where black women are misrepresented by a white historian's viewpoint.

  1. Discuss how Walker and Atwood present the self awakening of key characters within the ...

    Celie now addresses her letters to Nettie rather than Celie, Celie now feels that she has somebody to listen to her. Gloria Steinam states, "Celie changes from writing to God to Nettie because she must tell someone the truth and confirm her existence."

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

    Dear Everything. Dear God." This re-imaging of God on her own terms symbolizes Celie's move from an object of someone else's care to an independent woman. When young they both do as they are told. Jeanette is a bit more rebellious than Celie. As she grows older this becomes even more apparent.

  1. Alice Walker's depiction of men in The Color Purple has been controversial. Explore the ...

    Her only way of expressing her feelings is to write to God. Celie continues the letters to God throughout the novel expressing her feelings quite openly. Celie may have come to rely on writing the letters as she has been doing for so long because it gives her a feeling of comfort.

  2. Compare and contrast the ways the authors use first person narrative to present the ...

    those around her, also to add to the uncertainties the reader would feel whilst reading the novel. 'Caged Bird' on the other hand is written in past tense with slight references to presence. Maya Angelou uses more reflective writing on past events creating more of a real character and conveying her thoughts as the book progresses.

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