Analysis Of The Writing Style Of Alice Walker In The Color Purple

June 23, 2022 by Essay Writer

In Walker’s ‘The Color Purple’ the exploitation and oppression of black women are led by men, with the belief that women are worthless and inferior. Therefore, the supremacy of a certain social standing puts fear and deficient self-confidence into the minds of Celie and Nettie. Celie feels quarantined and loathed, she tells God about her life of brutality and exploitation at the hands of the men that she has encountered. However, there is an underlying theme of independence and liberation of one’s mind and soul. In order to discover her true self and gain liberation, Celie must deal with heart-wrenching abuse, including misogyny, racism and poverty, to flourish into the self-efficient person in the resolution. Despite the extreme poverty and racism she experienced Walker has become an inspiration too many. Alice Walker endured such racism, violence, discrimination and low self-esteem in everyday life which ultimately motivates her to become the Pulitizer-Prize winning novelist she is today, due to racial segregation in America, as she was a victim of racial discrimination early on in life, Walker wanted to bring light the hidden lives of hundreds of women struggling from oppression.

Many of the characters within ‘The Color Purple’ were forced, by means of oppression, into their social standing because they are not white and educated, coming from a lower class. Celie is at the bottom of America’s social hierarchy as she is black, uneducated, poor and a bisexual woman. Alice Walker’s ‘The Color Purple’ illustrates how being passive about negative conditions such as oppression leads to being victimised though the exploration of the men who act as oppressors within society. This concept conveys the belief that sexism and racism are inextricably bound together, delivering “… a durable message that America still needs to hear about resistance and empowerment” Furthermore, a marxist critic would be critical that men are powerful, more powerful women as Celie gets raped by her “father”, showing who had power in that relationship. The mistreatment of African-American women by men is a result of their belief that women are worthless and inferior to them, men ultimately have the upper-hand over them. A Marxist reading would find this deplorable as both genders should be treated equally. However, they expected women to contribute to society as well so it could be argued that the women bearing the children and providing a home fill with food contributed. Thus, the men wanting to dominate the women suppress their social existence within society.

The Color Purple demonstrates Walker’s female antagonists in the context of fighting against the oppression of the patriarchal society, consciously and unconsciously through emotion and physical acts. Celie is subject to discrimination slowly fighting against her otherwise predestined life being oppressed as a woman of colour in a world dominated by predominantly white men. Walker illuminates female solidarity as a slow revolution that ultimately frees Celie to live independently, by defying the patriarchal tyranny. The female antagonists are aware of the fact economical freedom leads the way to self-esteem, thus helping them to overcome the barriers that restrain them from majority of female capabilities. Walker’s protagonist faces the struggle of empowerment in the world marked by sexism, racism and patriarchy, however through the progression of the novel Celie grows into a strong willed women, emphasising that “If you deny people their own voice, you’ll have no idea who they were”. Therefore, Celie being oppressed and exploited she does not get to express her voice and who she actually is rather than the who she has become through her lifetime of abuse.

The epistolary novel of ‘The Color Purple’ has a rather dark eery tone, eventually lightening up towards the resolution. The mood that Walker’s enforces on the reader does not directly equate to the tone, however it influences the overall sombre and dark tone felt, relating to the feel of those uneducated black people in 1960s America. At a young age, Celie began writing letters addressed to God, full of bitterness due too hardship after hardship and abuse after abuse, explaining her fear of her stepfather’s abuse towards her mother and sister. By incorporating the techniques of the voice through letters, Walker develops Celie as the protagonist by emphasising her growth from a voiceless young girl, who wouldn’t defend herself, to a strong minded woman that gained liberty, dignity and love. Walker addresses various forms of brutal violence, through the letters, such as domestic incest and rape which unravel the weak internal structures of some African-American families. Mr. — treatment of Celie reveals a lack of respect for females, in a patriarchal society where older males possess power over the younger generations making them conform, with brutal control being regarded as a measure of manhood. Thus, it is Walker’s writing style that ultimately makes her novel so powerful and engaging for the reader.


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