Ms. Brittney Morgan
April 9 2013
Courage of the Black Woman Revealed
The story tells of one lady who goes through all kinds of hardships, discovers the proficient, content, and proud woman hidden inside of a young shut-mouthed girl. The Color Purple, the third novel written by the Pulitzer Prize winning author Alice Walker, has been both respected and berated in numerous essays and reviews. Although the critics agree to disagree about many aspects of this novel one thing is clear, The Color Purple shows that "the survival and liberation of black women through the strengths and wisdom of others." (Draper, 1810) In Walker's personal view, the Black women's history falls into three parts; the woman suspended, the artist confused and held back in her desires to create, living through two centuries when her main role was to be a used unvalued source of labor in the American society, and the modern woman. The feminist Alice Walker writes in a pattern. Her female characters move in a common cycle, first the woman were cruelly abused, and their spirits and bodies scarred, then the confused woman desires most to be a part of the American life, and lastly the modern woman shows the qualities of the developing an uprising model. Before Celie who is the main character, makes her way into the cycle the story sets her as a child with energy of wanting to learn, love, and enjoy life. She and Nettie, her sister attend school on a regular basis, complete all of their chores, and still make time to talk to play, or to just spend time together. Then, just as Celie reaches womanhood, she finds her way into the first stage of the cycle; the rejected woman. The rejected woman plays the role of the brutal abuse with a corrupted spirit as well as body. Celie's body is first desecrated through her stepfather's sexual abuse. Followed by this comes continuing sexual and physical abuse by her husband Mr. ______. Here, Celie slips into the second stage of the cycle; the woman who is held back. In this stage the character desires most to become a part of mainstream American society. In most cases, they are also victims of psychological abuse that separate them from their roots and real contact to the world. The profanity and abuse her body survives, not accepting that her spirit is broken when not only have her children been taken away from her by her stepfather, but Nettie is forced by Albert, to leave his and Celie's house. During this time of sorrow and loneliness, there is one unique sparkle in Celie that surfaces with the thought of a lady named Shug Avery. "Shug Avery was a woman. The most beautiful woman I ever saw. She more pretty then my mama. She bout ten times more prettier then me. I see her in furs. Her face rouge. Her hair like somethin tail. . .An all night long I stare at the picture. An now when I dream, I dream of Shug Avery. She be dressed to kill, whirling and laughing." (Walker 16) The final stage of the cycle; is the modern woman, one who realizes her strengths, her weakness and accepts them. In this stage, the lady works with what she has. Celie approaches this stage only with the help of Shug Avery during her stay with Albert and Celie. As fate would have it, Shug becomes deathly ill after a performance in Celie's hometown. All of Celie's years of wondering about Shug Avery comes to an end here. In the story, Albert goes to see Shug sing and Celie wants to ask him so many questions. "What she wear? Is she still the same old Shug, like in my picture? How her hair is? What kind of lipstick? Wig? She stout? She skinny? She sound well? Tired? Sick? Where her children at while she singing all over the place? Do she miss 'em?" Shug and Celie start off on a bad foot, however, after Celie begins to take care of Shug and nurse her back to health they develop the only kind of friendship and love, that can snap Celie back to reality. Through Albert and Shug's relationship, Celie finally hears from...
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