Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The Color Purple by Alice Walker

The Color Purple by Alice Walker

1982, 289 pp.

1983 Pulitzer Prize/1983 NBA

Rating: 4

I read this for the Banned Book Challenge, and I can definitely see why people would be against it. Some of the themes include incest, rape, lesbianism, language, and drug and alcohol use. I'm not saying it should be banned--just that if I had a teenage daughter, for instance, I would want to read and discuss it with her.

All of the above (and more) happen to Celie, the main character in the book. By contrast, Celie tries to protect her sister Nettie, and Nettie ends up going with a missionary family to Africa. We see Celie and Nettie both grow in different ways through what happens to them. They are separated for 30 years but do keep in contact through letters. It is appalling, really, what men can do to women. This type of novel is always hard for me to read, but sometimes I do think it is necessary for me to venture out of my protected little world into the very unprotected world of other women. If only to appreciate and thank God for what I do have and to pray for and help other women whenever I can.


Arukiyomi said...

It would be interesting to hear of why you think men do these kinds of things to women. And also, to bear in mind, that while men can and do appalling things to women, women have been known to inflict misery on men too. We all need help and prayer.

Interestingly that the only woman in the book who stands up to men ends up suffering immense misery at the hands of a woman i.e. Sophia and the mayor's wife. I sincerely wonder why Walker didn't make Sophia invincible. As it is, she ends up having the stuffing knocked out of her while Celie, who suggests Harpo beats Sophia, actually comes out of the whole affair much better off. It seemed to almost contradict a feminist message to me.

I recently read this and reviewed it HERE.

Bie said...

The Color Purple is a really inspirational novel about love, compassion, and freedom. The characters teach each other strong values that can be used in the real world. When Celie finally breaks free from her husband, she soon learns to love herself.

Although the movie was amazing, you have to read the book. There was a lot in the book I felt should have been in the movie.