They tear her nose loose on one side. They blind her in one eye. She swole from head to foot. Her tongue the size of my arm, it stick out tween her teef like a piece of rubber. She can't talk. And she just about the color of an eggplant" (Walker, Part 2, pg. 87). One child throws a stone at Celie's head, something learned by imitating Mr. ____. Wife beating was considered manly and proper in this rural culture (Salzer, p. 8). Harpo is embarrassed that he does not beat Sophia, and when his father chastises him, he goes home to make amends. However, Harpo ends up being the one with the bruises. Sophia will not relinquish control and refuses to take the subservient role. This is an embarrassment and source of public ridicule and scorn for Harpo for his apparent inability to control his wife in the proper manner. This makes him less of a man in the eyes of the surrounding culture.
In this case, the color purple is used as a symbol of the oppression of the black woman. Because a black women hit a white man, Sofia was put in prison. After she got out, she was made to work as a maid for the mayor's wife for another 20 years. Black women were not allowed to defend themselves in any manner and had to take their beatings. Fear was the major tool used for the oppression of black women in the Old South. Their purple bruises were the outward symbol of their oppression.
Dreams Never Mentioned
The black women in the south had to chose between their need for freedom and self-determination and safety. Celie puts it best, "I don't say nothing. I think bout Nettie, dead. She fight, she run away. What good it do? I don't fight, I stay where I'm told. But I'm alive" (Walker, Part 1, pg. 29). The black woman may feel the need for freedom, but they understand the risk that these notions entail. They may feel it, but fear may keep them from realizing their dreams. They learn to censor their dreams and ambitions to meet society's mold for them. A black woman's place in life was predestined before her birth.
Violence takes its place as an acceptable part of culture and a tradition that is passed on from father to son on Celie's wedding day. On the day that Celie married Mr. ____, she is beaten. Mr. ____ teaches the tradition of ...
Throughout the novel, Celie remains the perfect, subservient role model for the Black women. This is juxtaposed against Sofia, who exemplifies what they all may feel inside, but do not show. In the end, when Celie find Nettie's letters written to her and hidden by Mr. ____, she too thinks of violence, demonstrating the inner turmoil that these oppressed women must harbor. Celie begins to see her own beauty, which begins a transformation within her (Byerman, p. 321). Celie is the heroine of the story because she must overcome the mental anguish of the beatings, yet remain the perfect wife and woman according to the rules of the dominant culture (Bloom, p. 181).
In conclusion, evidence from the book supports the thesis that violence from a man to a woman was not only tolerated, but was expected and that women were regarded as nothing more than livestock. This issue remains a central theme in the book and paints a picture of a south that was highly stratified culturally. The Color Purple is used throughout the book to signify the oppression of black women in the culture of the Old South. Walker uses Celie as a picture of the perfect woman who knows her place. She uses Sophia to show the degree with which black women had to suppress their feelings, even if they were right.
Bloom, H. Alice Walker's the Color Purple. Philadelphia, PA: Chelsea House. Place of Publication: Philadelphia. 2000. pp. 181.
Byerman, K. Desire and Alice Walker: The Quest for a Womanist Narrative. Johns Hopkins University Press. 1989. p. 321.
Cutter, M. Philomela Speaks: Alice Walker's Revisioning of Rape Archetypes in the Color Purple. MELUS. 2000. pp. 161.
Magill, F., Kohler, D., and Mazzeno, L. Masterplots: 1,801 Plot Stories and Critical Evaluations of the World's Finest Literature. African-American Literature Series. # 47. Salem Press. 1996.
Salzer, L. Race and Domesticity in 'The Color…
One child throws a stone at Celie's head, something learned by imitating Mr. ____. Wife beating was considered manly and proper in this rural culture (Salzer, p. 8). Harpo is embarrassed that he does not beat Sophia, and when his father chastises him, he goes home to make amends. However, Harpo ends up being the one with the bruises. Sophia will not relinquish control and refuses to take the subservient role. This is an embarrassment and source of public ridicule and scorn for Harpo for his apparent inability to control his wife in the proper manner. This makes him less of a man in the eyes of the surrounding culture.
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Regular sex instead is a cure for many things, including the frustration that is at the root of many acts of violence. The only limit that I would place upon enjoying regular sex is that it should be done in a manner to ensure the maximum safety of all partners involved, and that everybody involved should be consenting adults. Any occasions where people are being hurt or tortured for the
Oppression Power and Diversity Oppression, Power & Diversity This reflection paper aims to shed light on the PBS Documentary "Slavery by another Name" by performing a brief review on the documentary, drawing some learning points and some points to ponder over. The documentary has been directed by Sam Pollard in which you can admire his efforts since adapting a literary work as a documentary is an arduous task. The documentary deals with
I had to fight my daddy. I had to fight my brothers. I had to fight my cousins and my uncles. A girl child ain't safe in a family of men" (46). Sofia is brazen and outspoken and has little in common with the often-beaten and intimidated Celie. Celie says, "I like Sofia, but she don't act like me at all. If she talking when Harpo and Mr. ____ come
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Color Purple- Film and Book The Color Purple is a deeply through-provoking and highly engrossing tale of three black women who use their personal strength to transform their lives. Alice Walker's work was published in 1982 and it inspired Steven Spielberg so much that he began working on its film version as soon as the novel won accolades for its brilliant storyline and powerful narrative. However the movie, though it
He even tried to hurt her spirit by hiding the letters and she is not able to believe that where she says "Mr.____ mean sometimes, but he not that mean"(Walker). This is a conflict in her that she thought that he was not such a bad human being and she never expected that he would do such a thing to her even if he treated her badly. Celie is shown