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Feminism Is Alice Walker's The Color Purple

982 words - 4 pages

Colour Purple

Colour Purple

(in the view of feminism)

The Color Purple is an acclaimed 1982 epistolary novel by American author Alice Walker. It received the 1983 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the National Book Award. It was later adapted into a film and musical of the same name.

Taking place mostly in rural Georgia, the story focuses on female black life during the 1930s in the Southern United States, addressing the numerous issues including their exceedingly low position in American social culture. The novel has been the frequent target of censors and appears on the American Library Association list of the 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 1990-1999 at number fifteen because of the sometimes explicit content, particularly in terms of violence.[1]

Feminism is both an intellectual commitment and a political, cultural, and economic movement that seeks justice, equal rights and legal protection for women. It is also a movement that campaigns for women's rights and interests.

Feminist activists campaigned for women's rights of contract, property rights, voting rights. They have struggled to protect women and girls from domestic violence, sexual harassment, and rape. On economic matters, feminists have advocated for workplace rights, including maternity leave and equal pay, and against other forms of gender-specific discrimination against women.

These movements were mainly led by middle-class white women from Western Europe and North America. However, in former European colonies and the Third World women were critical of Western feminism for being ethnocentric and ignoring oppression based on racism and classism. Black feminists, such as Angela Davis and Alice Walker, share this view. They strive against sexism, class oppression, and racism which are bound together.

One of the theories that evolved out of this movement was Alice Walker's Womanism. Alice Walker and other Womanists pointed out that black women experienced a different and more intense kind of oppression from that of white women. They wanted to explore the particularities of black women's history and culture without being guided by white feminists. I've found a really allegorical citation from Alice Walker expressing this approach: 'Womanist is to feminist as purple to lavender.'

A dominant theme of the novel is the power of women coming together. They are degraded by men and generally used for male pleasure. In contrast, women see men as careless and insignificant to their lives. As Celie says,...

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