Tragedy and Triumph in Alice Walker`s The Color Purple

Tragedyand Triumph in Alice Walker`s The Color Purple

InTheColor Purple,there are different characters that have been featured however, thisassignment will deal with one character, Celie. Besides, theassignment will also discuss three abuses presented in this book.


Fromthe book, TheColor Purple,Celie is depicted to have three dominant attributes that indicate herpersonality. These three attributes entail the capacity of lovingunconditionally, consistent search for truth, and endurance. AlthoughCelie sometimes keeps on questioning her worth, she has an endurancethat arises out of believing in herself. Her endurance is furtherdepicted from the book, where she endures physical, emotional, andsexual abuse from adolescence to adulthood. In fact, despite theseabuses, she still remains a gentle and caring soul, who is ready andfinds it easy to show love the moment she feels that she is loved.

Frequentlyin the novel, Celie is indicated to love other individuals morecompared to how she loves herself. She quietly keeps her own abuse toherself in order to save Nettie and her mother from Fonso’scruelty. Celie marries Albert so as to make Nettie not be forced tomarry him. She even goes ahead and sends Nettie from the farm inorder to protect her from Albert, although it meant that she wouldlose the only friend and family she had in the world. The capacity ofCelie enduring under the worst situations is her key to survival. Shehas the capacity of enduring the loss of her babies, loss of hersister, cruelty of Albert, and the uncertainty of love from Shug.Despite these problems, her life was filled with prejudice, strugglesand poverty, but she never gave up (Eder46).

Celie’sunconditional love is depicted through her love for Shug. Prior tomeeting Shug, she adored her. The moment she finally met Shug, shecame to love her unconditionally, despite Shug mistreating her. Inspite of the treatments she experiences from Shug, Celie still has aplace for Shug. This is depicted by Celie decorating a room purple inher house, having hopes that Shug will be returning to live with her.Besides, Celie also shows steadfast love through Sofia. When she getsimprisoned, Celie goes to jail to care for her wounds. Also, shevisits her frequently during the time of her confinement to encourageand give her strength.

Onthe other hand, the consistent search for truth is an amazingcharacteristic of Celie. Being a female, she becomes abused by herhusband and stepfather because of living in a patriarchal system,which did not value a female, but viewed a female as a laborer and asexual object. Celie searches for ways of standing for these unfairsystems from early in the book. By the conclusion of the novel, Celieis depicted to have succeeded in business since she never surrenderedthe reality of her life, but kept searching for the truth beyond herlife.

Apartfrom these characteristics depicted by Celie, another characteristicof Celie is that she is ready to learn. This is indicated when shebecomes mistreated by her husband and her stepfather. After facingthe mistreatments, she is ready to learn how to fight back andbefriends Shug, who she accepts to give her the lessons. Celie isdepicted as ready to learn because she gives Shug the opportunity toteach her new ideas ideas. In case Celie was not eager and ready tolearn, she would not have given Shug the opportunity to teach her thenew ideas. In addition, Celie is depicted as having the capacity ofusing what is available or within her means to achieve the mostdeserved success. This is shown by transforming the act of sewing,which is a common chore amid women, to be a business that would bringher success and contentment in life.


Inthe book, TheColor Purple,there are different kinds of abuses that exist. The following threekinds of abuses are evident from the book sexual abuses, physicalabuses and emotional abuses.


Physicalabuse has been depicted in the novel in different instances. One ofthe situation, where physical abuse is depicted in the novel entailswhere Celine’s father is indicated to be beating her daughter Celiebefore abusing her sexually. Besides, physical abuse has beenindicated, where Celie becomes treated like a slave and a nursemaidto the children of Mr. Johnson. On the other hand, after marryingHarpo, Sofia is abused physically by Harpo through beatings. It isclear that Mr. Johnson insists on Harpo beating Sofia in order tomake her submit to Harpo since he feels that women are socialinferiors, thus they require a beating from men in order to showsubmission. However, whenever Harpo tried to beat Sofia, she wouldalso try to beat him back and win the fight. In this case therefore,both Sofia and Harpo are depicted to physically abuse abuse eachother. In addition, physical violence, in the book, has been depictedwhere the mayor goes ahead and slaps Sofia because she showedinsubordination. This was after Sofia refused to become a maid forthe mayor’s children. In this instance, Sofia also physicallyabused the mayor by slapping him back.


Emotionalabuse is evident from the book, TheColor Purple.One of the circumstances that indicate emotional abuse is whereCelie’s father abuses Celie without Celie retaliating back (Walker12). Celie suffers emotional abuse because she does not want to reactover what she goes through. In the novel, it is also indicated thatCelie also experiences an emotional abuse because she does not knowwhere her two children are due to her father’s torture shebelieves that one of her children was murdered by her father, whilethe other was abducted and sold. Furthermore, the moment her sisterruns away from Mr. Johnson, Celie is disturbed emotionally becauseshe thinks that her sister is dead after remaining silent for solong. Thus, Mr. Johnson triggers an emotional abuse to Celie. Inaddition, she becomes emotionally abused, when her father refers toher as the ugly one. Celie’s mother experiences emotional abusebecause she knows that the man she got married to abuses herdaughter, but could not do anything to save the situation (Eder41). In fact, Celie’s mother dies knowing that her daughter isconstantly abused by the father. On the other hand, Sofia alsoexperiences emotional abuse because she is forced to become amaidservant for twelve years to the mayor’s wife. During this time,Sofia undergoes emotional torture since she is deprived of seeing herbeloved children.


Inthis novel, there are different circumstances, where sexual abuse hasbeen shown. Most of the men in the novel have been depicted todisrespect women and treat them as sexual objects. Celie’s fatherhas been depicted as one of the men that sexually abuse women.Alphonso has been sexually abusing Celie, without considering thatshe is his daughter on the virtue that he is married to her mother.When she was still a minor, Celie became sexually abused by herfather. Worse still, when her mother died, Alphonso married anotherwife, but still continued to sexually abuse Celie. According to thenovel, Alphonso looked forward to satisfying his primitive lust.Besides, sexual abuse is depicted where, although Johnson is stillmarried to Celie, he still has a desire for Nettie just for sexualpurposes (Eder86). This is a show of men displaying sexual abuse to women. On theother hand, women such as Shug Avery has been depicted to sexuallyabuse men due to her scanty dressing.


Inthe book, TheColor Purple,Celie has been depicted as one of the chief characters. She hasencountered different problems ranging from poverty, sexual abuse,moral abuse to even physical abuse. However, despite thesechallenges, Celie had positive attributes that gave her theencouragement to face these challenges in order to realize success.These attributes entail the capacity of loving unconditionally,consistent search for truth, and endurance. In case this characterdid not have these positive attributes, she could have given up earlyin life. For instance, she was capable of going through the problemsthat she faced such as rape by her father because of endurance.


Eder,Katharina.&nbsp&quottheColor Purple&quot by Alice Walker – an Analysis.München:GRIN Verlag GmbH, 2011.Print.

Walker,Alice.&nbspTheColor Purple.New York: Open Road Integrated Media, 2011. Print.