Compare and contrast the two characters of Celie and Jeanette.
Consider the influence of religion on the two main protagonists.
Despite the fact that Celie and Jeanette are characters who appear to
be lost in completely different worlds they do in fact have quite a
lot in common. The influence of religion on the two girls is
significant and can be seen throughout the two novels. Jeanette is
trapped at home with an extremely strict religious family, and could
be considered to be quite naïve, as she hasn’t seen much of life
outside of her village. Her village is full of evangelists, although
the way they act makes them seem a lot more like a cult. Hence, it
could be said that Jeanette had to endure religion being forced upon
her throughout her childhood. Celie on the other hand, embraces
religion and it is an important factor in her survival. After Celie
has been raped by her abusive father, who also gave her children away,
she is forced to live with Mr. ____, her husband, who is equally, if
not more abusive than her father ever was. Celie can’t see herself
living any other way, and although she isn’t happy, she accepts this
way of life.
Jeanette Winterson wrote, “Oranges are not the only fruit”, which was
published in 1985. She was born in Manchester in 1959, and was adopted
by two evangelist parents. She left her parents in 1975 after starting
a relationship with another woman. She attended St. Catherine’s
College in Oxford and graduated from there with a degree in English.
Over the years she has published many stories mainly involving lesbian
fiction, as well as film scripts.
Alice Walker was born on February 9, 1944 into a family of
sharecroppers near Eatonton, Georgia. Her father, Willie Lee Walker,
was the grandson of slaves. She named the character of Nettie in, “The
Color Purple” which she wrote in 1982 after her grandmother. Alice is
a world traveller and considers herself to be a spiritual explorer.
During her junior year at Sarah Lawrence College in New York, she
travelled to Africa as an exchange student. Alice was active in the
Civil Rights Movement of the 1960's, and in the 1990's she was still
an involved activist. “The Color Purple” seems to relate greatly to
Alice’s experiences in life and what the impact of other members of
her family and their experiences had upon her. It is about being a
woman and black, living in the frame of male civilization, racist and
sexist by definition and being subject to all possible forms of
oppression. This is very true for many of the black women living in
South America during the early 1900’s.
The Color Purple, published in 1982, tells the story of Celie, a Black
woman in the South of America. Celie writes letters to God in which
she tells about her life, including her roles as daughter, wife,
sister, and mother. Through the course of her story, Celie meets a
series of other Black women who shape her life: Nettie, Celie's
sister, who becomes a...