• 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. 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.

  2. 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.

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

    When Harpo again complains that Sofia "do what she want, don't pay me no mind at all", Celie pleads with him to learn to live with Sofia as she is. "Sofia love you", she tells him. "She probably be happy to do most of what you say if you ast her right".

  1. What message do you think Alice Walker is trying to convey in the short ...

    Also by using Gracie Mae's voice you get dialect and accent straight from the characters mouth almost. Examples of this are 'with my foots up in J.T.'s lap.' As well as 'it's better than no laugh a'tall.' This use of grammar brings us much closer to the character of Gracie

  2. The portrayal of women in The Color Purple has been controversial. Explore the ...

    We see the importance of Shug when Celie writes, "For the first time in my life, I feel just right" with Shug, she feels complete for the first time since her miserable childhood. Women in the novel bond with each other to protect one another.

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

    She made Celie's character come to life, and be heard. We can understand Celie far more from the way she writes. We are made aware that she hasn't received much education without being told. This allows Walker to use the epistolary form of writing throughout the entire novel.

  2. Consider the opening scenes to Steven Spielberg's "The Color Purple."

    In the first scene the pace is very quick as this is used so you are running with the girls therefore a happy feeling emerging inside you. Whereas in the scene where Celie is walking with her mother's coffin Spielberg makes the pace much slower as this gives you time to think for Celie and feel for her.

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