Celie's Pain In Alice Walker's Color Purple

1495 words - 6 pages

Celie's Pain in The Color Purple

Molestation is a topic that is painful to think about, and even more difficult to write about. Yet Alice Walker chose this as the central theme of her novel The Color Purple. Walker's work centers around a poor African American girl Celie. Celie keeps a diary, and the first section of the novel is an excerpt from her diary. After reading the excerpt, the reader comes to realize that Celie is a fourteen-year-old girl who has been molested by her father. Through this, she has lost her innocence as well as her self-worth, evident when the reader sees that the diary's words have been altered to say "I have always been a good girl" as opposed to "I am a good girl." From the moment her father molested her, Celie ceased to see herself as a good person.

The events following the molestation only serve to lower Celie's confidence and hurt her relationship with her father. Her sister Nettie attempts to protect her, Nettie being the closest thing to a best friend that Celie has at this point. Nettie is the only person in Celie's life who cares enough about her to stand up to their father.

"The first time I got big Pa took me out of school. He never care that I love it. He say 'You too dumb to keep going to school'. But Pa, Nettie say, crying, Celie smart too. Even Miss Beasley say so." Nettie gets Miss Beasley to go to the house to convince 'Pa' "She see how tight my dress is, she stop talking and go"

The way Celie writes in her Diary reflects her lack of education and class status. She writes in the most basic and colloquial language that she would use when speaking. She spells many words incorrectly such as "git" and "Naw". She also uses her words in the wrong tense saying " I say" instead of 'I said', and starting her sentences with conjunctions such as "But" instead of forming a whole sentence. For example " My heart say she mine. But I don't know she mine."  She writes in the complete opposite way to intellects such as Oscar Wilde who use very eloquent, flamboyant and grammatically correct language.

After suffering years of her Fathers abuse and having his children, Celie is thrown from one fire to another, by being forced into an unloving and menial marriage. Celie only knows this man as "Mr.-", and he has only accepted Celie from her father because he wasn't allowed Nettie. Celie's father said as part of the negotiation:

"She Ugly. He say. But she aint no stranger to hard work." 

Mr.---- only takes Celie with "her cow".  He is not marrying Celie for love but to use her like a Slave to take care of his children, tend the house and land and to satisfy is animal sexual urges. The whole idea that black men treat their wives is very ironic because it is very similar to how the whites treated the black slaves. The black slavery trade had just been abolished in America at this time so it is hard to understand why the men treat people of the same race in such a way. I feel that this is due to...

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