Essay Example on The Color Purple is an epistolary Novel








The Color Purple is an epistolary novel which consists of 90 letters that narrate the hardships mistreatment and abuse faced by the protagonist from the hands of her father and later from her husband which depict the life of African American women in the Southern United States in the 1930s The novel won the National Book Award for Fiction and the 1983 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and in 2003 it was listed on the BBC s The Big Read poll of the United Kingdom's best-loved novels The piece is in the genre of Literary Fiction and was written by African American novelist and poet Alice Malsenior Walker way back in 1982 She was born on February 9, 1944, in Eatonton the Georgia United States She brought black women's lives into primary focus as a rich and important subject for US American literature Walker's The Color Purple weaves an intricate mosaic of women joined by their love for each other the men who abuse them and the children they care for An epic tale spanning forty years in the life of Celie an African American woman living in the South who survives incredible abuse and bigotry After Celie s abusive father marries her off to the equally debasing Mr _____ Albert Johnson things go from bad to worse leaving Celie to find companionship anywhere she can

She perseveres holding on to her dream of one day being reunited with her sister in Africa The story starts with Celie a poor uneducated fourteen-year-old black girl living in the rural of Georgia composing her letter to God because of her father Alphonso beats and assaults her Alphonso has impregnated Celie once Celie gave birth to a girl whom her father stole and probably killed in the forested areas Celie has a second child whom her father likewise takes Celie's mother turns out to be really sick and then eventually died After her mother dies Alphonso brings home another spouse yet keeps on abusing Celie Celie and her younger sister Nettie find out that a man referred to just as Mr _____ wants to marry Nettie Mr _____ has a lover named Shug Avery a sultry lounge singer whose photo allures Celie Her father declines to let Nettie marry and rather offers Mr _____ the ugly Celie as a bride Mr _____ eventually accepts the offer and brings Celie into a troublesome and mournful wedded life Nettie flees from Alphonso and takes shelter at Celie s home Mr _____ still wants Nettie and when he advances on her she ran away for her own safety

Never got any news from Nettie again Celie assumed that she s dead Kate Mr ____ s sister feels sorry for Celie for everything that she went through under the hands of her brother and tells her to fight back against him rather than submit to his abuses Harpo Mr ______ s son falls in love with a large spunky girl named Sofia Shug Avery comes to town to sing at a nearby bar but Celie is not allowed to go see her Sofia winds up noticeably pregnant and weds Harpo Celie was astounded by Sofia s disobedience in the face of Harpo s and Mr ______ s attempts to treat Sofia as an inferior Harpo s tried to beat Sofia into submission but consistently fail as Sofia is by far the physically stronger between the two Shug got sick and Mr ______ brings her into his house At first Shug is rude to Celie but the two women become friends as Celie took care of Shug Celie finds herself sexually attracted and infatuated to Shug Frustrated with Harpo s consistent attempts to dominate her Sofia moves out taking her children Several months later Harpo opens a juke joint where Shug sings nightly Celie grows confused over her feelings toward Shug Shug chose to stay when she knew that Mr _____ beats Celie when Shug is not around Shug begins to ask Celie questions about sex and their relationship grows cozy Sofia came back for a visit and hardly gets in a fight with Squeak Harpo s new girlfriend In town one day the mayor s wife Miss Millie asks Sofia to work as her maid Sofia answers with a sassy Hell no Due to Sofia s defiance the mayor slapped her but she defended herself returning a blow knocking the mayor down After that incident Sofia was imprisoned Squeak s attempts to get Sofia freed are futile Afterwards Sofia is sentenced to work for mayor as Miss Millie s maid for twelve years

Shug returned with a new spouse Grady In spite of her marriage Shug prompts a sexual relationship with Celie and they frequently share the same bed One night Shug asked Celie about her sister Celie assumed that Nettie was already dead because she promised to write letters to Celie but never did Shug told Celie that she has seen Mr ______ hiding numerous mysterious letters that have arrived in the mail Shug managed to get her hands on one of these letters and they find out that it was from Nettie Searching through Mr ______ s trunk Celie and Shug find dozens of letters that Nettie has sent to Celie over the years Overcome with emotion Celie reads the letters in order wondering how to keep herself from killing Mr ______ Letters from Nettie indicates that she became friends with a couple who are missionaries Corrine and Samuel and traveled with them to Africa to do ministry work The couple have two adopted children named Adam and Olivia Nettie and Corrine became close friends but Corrine noticed that her adopted children resemble Nettie and she suspiciously thought that Nettie and Samuel have a secret past In accordance with that Corrine tried to limit Nettie s role within her family

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