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

Walker's presentation of Sofia and Harpo.

Extracts from this document...


English essay Walker's presentation of Sofia and Harpo Alice walker uses a variety of techniques to present the characters of Sofia and Harpo during page 60 of 'The Color Purple'. I will be exploring a number of lexical, grammatical and phonological choices, as well as other techniques, in the order they appear in the letter and will be discussing how these can lead to the development of attitudes and values. The introduction to the Sofia and Harpo relationship shows the reversal of the fixed stereotype perpetuated by other couples in the novel that a man should lead and a woman should follow. Previous letters depict Harpo as the feminine, subservient man, "...crying like his heart gon break." While Sofia is much the dominant figure in the way she is "marching" like "going to war". In not conforming to the basic male-female stereotypes we see Sofia "working on the roof" while Harpo is happy to "hold the baby" and "give it a kiss". However, once Harpo sees that he is losing face he begins to eat gluttonously as he believes that physical strength leads to power. Although this gluttony could in fact be comfort eating and so is associated with his feminine image. ...read more.


The rocking chair could symbolise she has learnt that obtaining the image and role of a male does not help in relationships with other men. The word 'rocking' suggests that a relationship in which wood is present in both persons will never succeed. Taking wood away from Harpo could mean that Sofia wants Harpo to become more of a man and Sofia wants him to succeed in a stereotypical relationship. Walker then ends the list and states that Sofia is also taking "the children". The fact that this is a simple sentence consisting of just two words gives it a very sudden feel to it. It's a huge impact both to the reader and to the relationship between Sofia and Harpo. Harpo has lost the children even though he, due to the role reversal, was very much the mother to them. This highlights the painful feelings that Harpo must be going through to lose his children. The subsequent sentence illustrates Harpo's attitude towards Sofia as she is leaving. "Harpo sit on the steps acting like he don't care." The last three words 'he don't care' contain only one syllable and demonstrate Harpo's apathetic feelings towards the situation. The words 'sit on the steps' are also mono-syllabic and have a plosive edge created by the 't' sound and also the 'p' sound in the word 'step'. ...read more.


On the words 'little' and 'whistle' they both end in the letters 'tle', making them rhyme and chime (like a tune) and create a feeling as if they're fading away. Walker mentions that Harpo's whistle is lost in a jar, a jar being transparent and suggests that you can see through Harpo as he wants to be like all the other males. However, the glass can be broken and Harpo's real side can be seen, his whistle returns and he regains his confidence. But be careful, as once the glass is broken, the shards can inflict pain. The jar is then lost down a creek which signifies that it cannot be returned without great effort and reflects that Harpo has to try and strive to succeed. A lot can be discovered about the attitudes and values of Sofia and Harpo from looking at the first two paragraphs. Deep down Sofia loves Harpo and a great effort is needed for her to leave. Sofia wants to leave most of the past behind but takes a few important items to signify change both for her and for Harpo. Harpo must be stricken with pain at the sight of losing his children as he was very much the mother figure. However, Harpo contains all his feeling inside and tries to carry on with his life. Robert McEwan ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Alice Walker section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

4 star(s)

Some good close analysis of language which leads to mature and perceptive comments. However some analysis and comments are unconvincing particularly when not supported by textual references.

Marked by teacher Katie Dixon 29/04/2012

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 AS and A Level Alice Walker essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Explore Walkers Portrayal of Female Identity - The Color Purple

    4 star(s)

    Not only powerful in body, but also in mind. In the beginning of the book she seems to show no fear and determination no to be moulded by society. Unfortunately this is a short lived dream. Even though Sophia is a powerful woman, she is still victim to discrimination due to her s*x and race which results in hr being moulded into the typical stereotypical woman.

  2. What are the main themes of Pleasantville and how does the director convey them ...

    There are many foreseeable reasons why the people, and the town itself have changed so dramatically. However, one of the main contributing factors is the liberation of the people. As the individual becomes more of a well-rounded person and begins to fulfil their potential, they develop into colour.

  1. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings - Maya Angelou.

    The story is mainly focused around Maya and Bailey. Bailey shows to be someone who has his own mind and feels the need to prove to the world what he can be while still showing to be tough he can't help getting very sensitive when things involve love! For instance when he sees a film in which the character

  2. Maya Angelou - I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings.

    The language used when Maya describes this event show she thinks that this is not a major or bad thing that has happened. Maya again shows her mother as not a bad person even though what she has done is wrong.

  1. Free essay

    The text The Color Purple, in both the novel by Alice Walker and the ...

    The years of abuse made her submissive and silent, never speaking up for herself in order to survive. Shots of Celie watching events from behind props, windows or with her face turned down demonstrate the invisible nature that she has developed in the film.

  2. first 6 letters in the color purple analysis

    As a victim of an abusive life Celie is forced to live a life of complete disfranchisement and so these letters allow her feelings to be expressed without filtering .

  1. In her story Everyday Use, Alice Walker is telling the story though the eyes ...

    Dee wants to study at school; in contrast, Maggie does not want to. Dee is sent to a school to Augusta by the narrator with the help of her church. Dee uses to read to the family without pity after she comes back from school.

  2. How does Walkers presentations of Womanism affect your interpretation of "The Color Purple"?

    Similarly, this is also shown when Celie was being denied an education in America after falling pregnant due to r**e, shown in letter eight ?You too dumb to keep going to school?.

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