Compare Racial And Cultural Struggles In Alice Walker’s The Color

2642 words - 11 pages

Compare racial and cultural struggles in Alice Walker’s The Color
Purple as well as Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye.

In African-American texts, blacks are seen as struggling with the
patriarchal worlds they live in order to achieve a sense of Self and
Identity. The texts I have chosen illustrate the hazards of Western
religion, Rape, Patriarchal Dominance and Colonial notions of white
supremacy; an intend to show how the protagonists of Alice Walker’s
The Color Purple as well as Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye, cope with
or crumble due to these issues in their struggle to find their
identities. The search for self-identity and self-knowledge is not an
easy task, even more so when you are a black woman and considered a
mule and a piece of property. Providing an in depth analysis of these
texts, this essay attempts to illustrate how both of these
Afro-American writers depict and resolve their respective
protagonists’ struggles.

Religion is believed by many to serve as a means to achieving or
finding self or identity. However, in the Euro-influenced Christian
religion especially, directly after ‘finding one’s self’, one is
called to deny one’s self in the name of a white ‘God’. ‘Humble
yourself and cast your burdens to God’ they say, for ‘He will make all
wrongs right’. Logically however, one must ask…what interest does the
white God (who is especially portrayed in Afro-American writings such
as The Color Purple and The Bluest Eye as a further extension of
Patriarchal values) have in black people? Moreso, if the Christian
bible is so heavily influenced by white man, what interest does the
God it portrays have in black women?

In The Color Purple, Celie’s original intended audience is a white,
male God who does not listen to her prayers, and her letters remain
anonymous. Celie explains that she stopped writing to God because he
gave her ‘a lynched daddy, a crazy mama, a lowdown dog of a step pa
and a sister [she] probably won’t ever see again.’ Celie distrusts a
white male God because he does not listen to ‘poor colored women.’
Shug encourages Celie to reject ‘religious beliefs which reinforce
sexist and racist domination’ and insists on ‘the primacy of a
spiritual life’. If Celie looks for God in a white church or a white
written Bible it is inevitable that she will encounter a white God,
therefore she must look at her immediate environment for guidance.
Celie then accepts and employs Shug’s ideology that ‘God is inside you
and inside everyone else.’ In her rejection of the Euro-central God
who doesn’t listen to her prayers, Celie liberates her ‘Self’ and
finds identity – evident in her signing of her letters which she now
addresses to Nettie. For the first time in Celie’s life, the colour
people (purple) are recognized by God and she is liberated with the
belief that the colour purple/people is/are noticed as a part in God’s
majestic composition, and that this God is everything and everywhere.
It is...

Find Another Essay On Compare racial and cultural struggles in Alice Walker’s The Color

Alice Walker's The Color Purple: Celie's Struggles Expressed in Letters

538 words - 2 pages Alice Walker's The Color Purple: Celie's Struggles Expressed in Letters "Dear God, Gets me out of here. I needs to love and laugh. I needs to be free of this bastard and these white people." At a very young age, Celie begins writing letters to God. In her letters she explains her fears about her stepfather raping her, her mother and sister being beat, and her fears for her sister, Nettie. This epistolary novel (a novel in which the

The Bonds That Break the Silence: Alice Walker’s “The Color Purple” and Kate Chopin’s “The Awakening”

2587 words - 10 pages enforced in three different ways; physical abuse, emotional abuse, and social demands and/or expectations. Although both books have opposite cultural and racial factors that influence the way in which the women in the books are treated, we can still see that these three ways of silencing women are present. In Alice Walker’s “The Color Purple”, the form of patriarchal silencing that is most prominent is the violent physical and emotional abuse. Also

"The Color Purple": Compare the conflict in Alice Walker's "The Color Purple" to a conflict in real life

496 words - 2 pages Over the summer, I read "The Color Purple" by Alice Walker. Set in the early to mid 1900s, the themes and conflicts of the story reflect important issues that have a high impact on our society today. The novel is laden with themes such as racism, homosexuality and rape, issues that are rarely addressed in current times. Celie, the protagonist, and other characters, suffer through trials during a time where inequalities and prejudices are

This paper is about the controversial racial aspects of Alice Walker's book The Color Purple

2077 words - 8 pages "The Unbleachable Stain for Black Males in The Color Purple"Alice Walker's novel and Steven Spielberg's film adaptation "The Color Purple" have sparked huge controversy in the African-American community and the media. Most of the controversy revolves around the belief that the novel, as well as, the film portrays black male characters in a negative manner. They are characterized as stereotypical abusers and rapists who are simply there to

Success and Failure in Alice Walker’s To Hell With Dying

832 words - 3 pages Success and Failure in Alice Walker’s "To Hell With Dying"  Alice Walker’s "To Hell With Dying" appears on the surface to be a story of a man who has many near-death experiences. However, I believe that the story of Mr. Sweet shows the side of depression and failure that Alice Walker might have faced had she not pushed her way to success. Mr. Sweet grew up in a time period where the life between whites and blacks was very segregated

The Character of Mama in Alice Walker’s Everyday Use

938 words - 4 pages “I am a large, big boned woman with rough, man-working hands” Mama describes of herself in the short story Everyday Use by Alice Walker. Mama, who additionally takes the role of narrator, is a lady who comes from a wealth of heritage and tough roots. She is never vain, never boastful and most certainly never selfish. She speaks only of her two daughters who she cares deeply for. She analyzes the way she has raised them and how much she has cared

An Analysis of Love Countering Molestation in Walker’s The Color Purple and Angelou’s I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings

2456 words - 10 pages mostly from their family. The novel The Color Purple by Alice Walker entails letters written to God from Celie of her life and struggles from a little below the age of 14 into adulthood. On the other hand the novel I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou is an autobiography of her and her brother's life from a very young age and the struggles she faced to her late teenage years trying to fully understand who she is. Both novels have a main

Alice Walker’s Self Portrayal In “Everyday Use

1747 words - 7 pages Alice Walker?s Self Portrayal in ?Everyday Use? Alice Walker draws on her personal experiences growing up as a sharecropper?s daughter in Georgia to realistically relate the story, ?Everyday Use.? The story features two sisters, Maggie and Dee, who are very different from each other physically, intellectually, and emotionally and their mother, referred to as ?Mama.? One who is unaware of Walker?s past may believe that she equates herself with

Alice Walker’s Self Portrayal In “Everyday Use

1659 words - 7 pages Alice Walker draws on her personal experiences growing up as a sharecropper?s daughter in Georgia to realistically relate the story, ?Everyday Use.? The story features two sisters, Maggie and Dee, who are very different from each other physically, intellectually, and emotionally and their mother, referred to as ?Mama.? One who is unaware of Walker?s past may believe that she equates herself with Dee?s character. In fact, Maggie more precisely

Alice Walker’s Self Portrayal In “Everyday Use

2600 words - 10 pages Alice Walker draws on her personal experiences growing up as a sharecropper's daughter in Georgia to realistically relate the story, "Everyday Use." The story features two sisters, Maggie and Dee, who are very different from each other physically, intellectually, and emotionally and their mother, referred to as "Mama." One who is unaware of Walker's past may believe that she equates herself with Dee's character. In fact, Maggie more precisely

Everyday Use: Alice Walker’s Writing Style and How It Helps Tell the Story

646 words - 3 pages By looking at the last couple pages of Alice Walker’s “Everyday Use,” the reader can determine a certain style Walker uses to tell the story of a culture gap between an African American family. By using slang and incorrect word usage with Mama and proper, almost eloquent English with Dee, Walker is able to paint the perfect picture of how truly different the mother and daughter are. Also, Walker alternates between simple, often incomplete

Similar Essays

Alice Walker’s The Color Purple Essay

2789 words - 11 pages Change is the law of life. A person goes through different stages of life, and at every stage there is transformation in the personality of the person. This new individual is entirely different from the previous one. For this change, different circumstances and events are responsible. Alice Walker’s The Color Purple and Monica Ali’s Brick Lane are two texts of feminism in which we find the theme of evolution among the life of the characters like

Alice Walker’s The Color Purple And Kate Chopin’s The Awakening

1259 words - 5 pages enforced in three different ways; physical abuse, emotional abuse, and social demands and/or expectations. Although both books have opposite cultural and racial factors that influence the way in which the women in the books are treated, we can still see that these three ways of silencing women are present. In Alice Walker’s “The Color Purple”, the form of patriarchal silencing that is most prominent is the violent physical and emotional abuse. Also

Life Struggles And Themes In Alice Walker's The Color Purple

2824 words - 11 pages is, not surprisingly, her critical assessment of the African American experience in the South and a reclaiming of her African roots”(Pamela a smith). Further on, she also discusses the character role played in part of Alice Walker was not compelled by the experience, but much reality was shown. Although, the novel shows many struggles, but at the same time it makes a reader understand the reality of that struggle. ‘‘Walker's work

“Feminine Narrative” In Alice Walker’s The Color Purple

1687 words - 7 pages Gender: Femininity as Affect and Effect in Alice Walker’s The Color Purple”, analyzes the usefulness of the novel’s narration approaches, focusing on the meaning of Nettie’s letters to Celie and especially the fairy-tale unity in Celie’s last letter. Using The Color Purple as illustrated example, refusing to consider the accounts of gender and sexuality, the author suggests that the applications of culture’s “feminine mythologies” in the novel