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The Search For Self Acceptance Essay

1893 words - 8 pages

If any woman had to answer if she ever had trouble accepting herself, the response would be yes. According to Susan David, “All healthy human beings have an inner stream of thoughts and feelings that include criticism, doubt, and fear” (125-128). Depending on the person Alice Walker has as the recipients of Celie’s and Nettie’s letters, the text alters. The Color Purple is about a girl named Celie, who grows up in the south during the early 1920’s, surrounded by racism, sexism, and abuse from her father and husband. Alice Walker wrote The Color Purple in epistolary style and it traces Celie’s journey of finding her identity and path of finally accepting herself. On her journey she encounters a couple of women including one named Shug Avery, who helps turn Celie’s life around. Throughout The Color Purple, Alice Walker uses the epistolary structure to demonstrate self-acceptance in women.
Celie, the main character in The Color Purple has trouble figuring out who she is, and accepting herself because of the terrible life she had and still has while growing up. Her struggles begin when her stepfather says, "better not never tell nobody but god", after raping her (Walker 1). Not only does this make her feel violated and helpless, but she also has no one to talk about it with; The emotional pain lingers inside. Celie’s purpose of writing to God is that "Celie is willing to talk to anyone/anything that will listen to her" (Hammamsy). The people who surround her are either too young to understand her dilemmas or are the ones causing her emotional pain. The abuse she receives results in the beaters self-consciousness because he needs to prove who has the power. Being surrounded by people who do not have respect for themselves influences her to think that same way about herself. Her husband, one of the beaters, doesn’t allow his own wife to refer to him by his name but by Mr.___. Celie expresses the way she feels about herself and Mr.___ when she says; "He beat me like he beat the children. Cept he never hardly beat them. He say, Celie git the belt. The children be outside the room peeking through the cracks. It all I can do not cry. i make myself wood. I say to myself, Celie, your a tree. Thats how come I know trees fear man" (Walker 23). Mr.___, who is a violent, controlling husband, treats Celie as a child and causes her to believe she is powerless.
As a result of these tragic events, Celie writes to an unknown audience, resembling her unknown identity. In the beginning, the only person she can talk to is God. She writes her first letters to God shortly after her so-called father raped her. Each one of the letters is short, choppy and has a similar rhythm. The patterns found in her letters symbolize her state of mind; she feels depressed and weak. "Celie does not think of her letters as anything else than just that, as written documents saying the things she wishes to tell the recipients she cannot speak to in person”, making God the...

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