“Sometimes, reaching out and taking someone's hand is the beginning of a journey.
At other times, it is allowing another to take yours”(Nazarian). This quote by Vera Nazarian, a famous Armenian-Russian writer connects with the theme of female relationships in Alice Walker's novel The Color Purple. This novel acknowledges the struggles of African-American women during the 1940s, but readers begin to witness the growth of women during this time as they bond together and by the end of the novel are no longer powerless. THESIS:From the first page of Alice Walker’s The Color Purple, the readers are confronted with strong female relationships; Celie learns to know herself by instruction of her three confidantes: her sister Nettie, her daughter-in-law Sofia, and a blue singer Shug Avery, but all of these women learn and grow from lessons taught through one another.
Celie To begin, Celie, the protagonist resembles the perfect wife of this time she listened to what she was told; she cleaned, worked, and took care of everyone around her no matter what the circumstances. “Her strength, unlike that of Sofia or Shug is not physical or artistic, but it is the strength of integrity. She remains honest and compassionate, caring for everyone she comes into contact with” (Litnotes). Reader often become frustrated with Celie because she remains so loyal and loving for the people who mistreat her. For example, Celie was often beaten on days her husband, Albert, was in a bad mood; she did not even have to do anything wrong to be mistreated, but above all she would continue to work like his slave and never once complain. The problem of this novel is the woman have absolutely no power over anything, including themselves; therefore the women begin to bond together and have an uprising.
Walker's describes Celie's bonding, first with the biological mother of infancy and ranges from Celie's younger sister Nettie, Sofia, and to Shug's facilitating Celie's sensual awakening to adult female sexuality and a healthy emotional life (Proudfit).
"I can't even remember the last time I felt mad, I say. I used to git mad at my mammy cause she put a lot of work on me. Then I see how sick she is. Couldn't stay mad at her. Couldn't be mad at my daddy cause he my daddy. Bible say, Honor father and mother no matter what. Then after while every time I got mad, or start to feel mad, I got sick. Felt like throwing up. Terrible feeling. Then I start to feel nothing at all" (Walker 47).
Nettie The first sign of sisterhood is between Nettie and Celie; unlike Celie, Nettie is educated and independent of all men. In many ways, Nettie is the woman that she is as a result of Celie’s sacrifices. Nettie’s way of repaying and thanking Celie is to try to teach her everything she could. This continues over the years, in the letters Nettie sends to Celie, she uses her experiences to expand Celie’s view of the world. Relating her stories of Africa, gender politics, and religion to her sister (Shmoop)....