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The portrayal of women in The Color Purple has been controversial. Explore the opinions of the two critics and explain your own views of the way Walker presents women in the color purple.

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Introduction

The portrayal of women in The Color Purple has been controversial. Explore the opinions of the two critics and explain your own views of the way Walker presents women in the color purple. The novel 'The Color Purple' has conveyed much controversy over the way women are presented. Some have argued that it is of the 'struggle of redemption and revenge' while others see the marriage of the novel as going beyond plot and character to protest against oppression. Women in the novel are victims of violence as men are the dominant ones over women in the southern American states. This leads to women bonding together by supporting, talking and protecting one another. Mel Watkins sees "The Color Purple" as "the friction between the black men and women" we can see from the start of the novel that men are the dominant in the relationship and society with women. Celie says that Pa "beat me today cause he say I winked at a boy in church." Women are presented as weaker and they have to totally obey the men, the men assert their power and gain total control. However in the Southern states of America black male were also dominated by a superior race, the whites. ...read more.

Middle

Her singing is also directed to the whites so it is like she has "sold" herself to them, earning no respect from her family and community. Shug has gained independence in the society through her singing for the whites and in the photo when Celie first saw Shug you can see how Shug's world contrasts to Celies. Celie's world is isolated and she doesn't have much experience of the outside world so when she sees this picture of Shug she is fascinated by it. Celies life reflects most of the lives of women in the Southern American states. They don't travel and stay at home to serve the men, whereas Shugs life is different as she has gained the independence that Watkins say that the women in the novel are trying to gain. We can see the independence of Shug as Celie describes her with "furs" showing her wealth and glamorous lifestyle. Her stance in the photo also revels her independence she is standing with "her foot up on somebody motocar" it shows she's bold and open as it is a sexy pose that women like Celie would not think of doing. Shug is seen by Watkins as a woman who has "pride, independence and an appetite for living" this acts as a catalyst for Celie, as Celie holds great regards for Shug and regards her as a role model "I think what colour Shug Avery would wear". ...read more.

Conclusion

The novel also seem to be a protest against oppression, the story is like a fable in which Walker is trying to put a point across to people about the way blacks and black women are treated in the Southern states of America. We see the characters triumph over adversity and achieve independence Celie shows this towards the end as she overcomes injustice, by leaving the men and seeking her path to independence. Mr also overcomes oppression as he reconciles and changes his attitude. Smith suggests it is about the "revenge" of women but we see the Mr and Celie reconcile and therefore they beat domination together. On one level the novel focuses on the experiences of black women in the early twentieth century. On another level the characters and their encounter are shown as individuals who triumph over oppression The women in the novel are presented as victims of violence; they unite with each other and bond by communication. These characteristics are represented in most of the characters such as Sofia overcoming the mayors wife by the support of her friends and Celie frees herself from Mr. This bonding helps women support and protect each other against oppression and likewise help the men when they learn to bond. ?? ?? ?? ?? 30/04/07 English AS coursework The color purple Yvonne Wong 12 South ...read more.

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