Reader Response Journal For Alice Walker's The Color Purple.

873 words - 3 pages

The Color PurpleAlice WalkerEntry 1"You better not never tell nobody but God. It'd kill your mammy." Alice Walker, the author of The Color Purple, begins her novel with an ambiguous threat. A fairly powerful, yet unexplained, quote begins a very powerful novel. Before opening this book, I had no idea how it was written or what it was about, I chose it solely by recommendation. I soon noticed that the whole story was to be told through letters written by the protagonist and addressed to God. I was actually very pleased to be reading something formatted different; I thought it would be more interesting. I did not know what I was in store for.Alice Walker wastes no time to shock the reader right off of the bat. The very first letter describes the rape of the protagonist by her stepfather. Uneducated language is used to bring more depth and realism, but also adds a sort of crudeness to it. This is nothing you would expect a first page to consist of. A turn of the page begins with, "My mama dead. She die screaming and cussing. She scream at me."No concern with being vivid in unpleasant details is found as Alice Walker begins her novel. Above all, this way of writing creates a much more powerful effect. The messages and themes are intensified. I was a little disturbed at first, but I really believe that this style of writing was very compliant to the piece as a whole. However, who is the protagonist and why isn't the letter signed?Entry 2"Dear Nettie, I don't write to God no more, I write to you." The letters have again changed and are now Celie addressing Nettie. Celie briefly explains that she has given up on writing to God, "What God do for me? I ast." This is a very understandable decision and the reader has a chance to really reflect and see how horrible of a struggle that the protagonist has been through since that very first page.However, Shug disagrees strongly. This leads to a long sermon-like discussion about God, race, and life. I was expecting, and almost hoping, for a rejection of God from Celie. I found it humorous how she found God to be like any other man I her life, "Trifling, forgetful and lowdown."Celie has given up on her God; after having such a strong relationship with him, she decided that he doesn't listen. I really enjoyed this chapter, the conversation did nothing but make me think. Alice Walker seems to be questioning the reader's views thru her characters. What your God looks like and why? Where you find your God? Who...

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