The Spirit of Freedom in The Color Purple and Their Eyes Were Watching God
Freedom takes many different forms. There is personal freedom, societal freedom, mental freedom, and physical freedom. Freedom is not tangible, but may be achieved through many experiences. Different aspects of freedom are apparent in both The Color Purple and Their Eyes Were Watching God. In The Color Purple, by Alice Walker, the freedom moves from the outside into Celie and then out again. In Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neale Hurston, the freedom stems from within Janie but is prompted by certain outside forces. Both women experience freedom, and the freedom grows from within and is radiated outward.
In The Color Purple Celie evolves from being oppressed by Mr.____ and society to being free in every possible sense. The spark of freedom starts from within her and radiates outward with each new catalyst. Shug is Celie's first source of freedom. She teaches Celie to be free in her thoughts and to respect what she thinks and feels. Shug makes Celie realize that it's okay to think what she thinks and to feel what she feels. "Why Miss Celie, she say, you still a virgin" (Walker p.81).
Sofia is Celie's second source of freedom. While Sofia herself does not tell Celie anything, she relates free feelings and ideas to Celie. For a time, Sofia was, in every way, unfree. And Celie knew that Sofia did not want to be that way. Celie learned that she could never give up hope, and that made her actions free.
Although Mr._____ oppressed and hindered Celie, he was finally a source of freedom. When he gave Celie the telegram that said Nettie was dead, and all her letters to Nettie, Celie is freed. Even though the news was bad, Mr.____ gave Celie the tools to break his chain of oppression. She begins to deviate from her one-track mind: love, hate, survive, and starts to think freely. "After all the evil he done I... wonder why I don't hate him" (Walker p.267).
The last source of Celie's freedom came from Nettie. Nettie represented the last link in the chain of subjugation. Since Nettie was the "only person love [her] in the world" (Walker p.207), her absence made Celie's heart ache. When Nettie...