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The Development Of Self Identity Essay

1028 words - 5 pages

The piteous nature of sexism, abuse and how it can be overcome by the power of a voice and strong relationships, is exhibited in the inspiring novel, The Colour Purple by Alice walker. Set in rural Georgia in 1910, protagonist Celie narrates her unfortunate life through confessional and religious letters written for god. Being verbally, physically and sexually abused, Celie's confidence is at an all time low. She sees the world in a skeptical manner focusing her writing on her feelings. When she starts developing strong female relationships, her outlook on life changes, as well as her writing style. Walker expresses that your past does not dictate your future and by altering your mindset and establishing powerful relationships, you can become a stronger person.

Having been raised in an abused home, suffering and sadness were never new feelings for her. Her whole life Mr.____ sexually, verbally and physically hurt her. He shaped who she came to be, an unconfident young girl who unfortunately viewed the world as a very unfair place. Mr._____ insignificance from Celie’s point of view explains why she never gives him a name, only giving him a black space, which metaphorically demonstrates exactly what he means to her; absolutely nothing. When the heroine starts to believe that she is somebody, she strives to demonstrate this by cursing the antagonist, “ I curse you I say. What that mean he say. I say, until you do right by me, everything you touch will crumble “. Mr.____ quickly destroys her hopes by saying “….Who you think you is? He say. You can’t curse nobody. Look at you. You black, you pore, you ugly, and you a woman. Goddam, he say, you nothing at all “(Walker 25). With this, Mr.____ conveys that in his eyes, his past appalling

actions are irrelevant and that women remain worthless to him and to society. As Celie evolves, Mr.____ does as well. When she gets the courage to flea to meet her friend, Shug Avery, she begins her innate desire to improve, reform her image of God and find herself. Thus, he realizes his wrong actions and his transformation begins as well. He quickly corrects his behavior and tries to mend the mind and soul of his victim, Celie. In the end, they both improved, accepting themselves and disregarding the preconceived roles that they were intended to fill. The heroine even gives her past enemy the name Albert to demonstrate his significance. Therefore, they form a friendship by transcending the sins and pain of the past.

Celie’s self identity is restored by the presence of Shug Avery, their encounter fills the hole that Celie had been missing in her life. Shug and Sofia (Albert’s son, Harpo’s wife), inspires Celie to sew quilts with her and the other community women. This activity creates a sense of closeness and displays different people unifying. Shug becomes even more of an idol to Celie when she creates a different interpretation of God for Celie, instead of just a...

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