A Comparison Of The Depiction Of Celie's Struggle In Steven Spieldburg's The Color Purple And The Novel

872 words - 3 pages

A Comparison of the Depiction of Celie's Struggle in Steven Spieldburg's The Color Purple and the Novel
Innocence and naivety is portrayed instantly as the initial theme for
“The Color Purple”, in both respects. Spielburg opens with the
positive scene of the heroine, Celie, playing wistfully in the fields
with her sister, Nettie. Similarly, the novel commences with the

“I am fourteen years old. I have always been a good girl”. In both
cases, the brief curiosity of youth is quickly driven out, as the
reader and the audience are forced to realise the fate of this
adolescent girl. This having been said, each media handles the topic
in very different fashions. Alice Walker enforces explicit imagery of
rape onto the reader, so as to comprehend some of this girl’s evident
pain; on the other hand, Spielburg chooses to jump straight into a
vision of an agonizing birth of Celie’s second child, hence showing
the consequences of the terrible abuse she has suffered. Both
interpretations are particularly disturbing and provoke interest from
the audience or reader, considering the unequivocal, abusive language
present in Celie’s opening letter, and the dreadful screams that we
are to witness after only minutes of the film.

The novel elaborates on such events as the death of Celie’s mother,
and the continuing abuse from her father. The reader also learns much
more of the young girl’s naivety, influenced by explicit vocabulary of
her developing pregnancy, and afterbirth with such statements like,

“I got breasts full of milk running down myself”. Such detailed
references were not supported in the film production of “The Color
Purple”. Celie talks of her condition in a way by which the reader
knows it is all first-hand experience, showing again her age and

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