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The Character Of Celie In The Color Purple

864 words - 3 pages

While other women may complain to their friends about frivolous, day-to-day worries about spoiled milk or misbehaving children, Celie, the main character in the film The Color Purple, deals with extremely serious psychological issues all alone. Not only does she have to suffer through a relationship with Albert, an abusive and alcoholic husband, she also has to face the cold prospect of isolation from the black community. Members of the black community in the movie The Color Purple band together for spiritual, financial and social support during troubled times in a racist era. However, Celie enjoys none of the community’s bastions of support because the community isolates Celie and regards her as an oddity. Albert's regular verbal insults and physical assaults does contribute to Celie’s diffidence, but Celie’s own choice to isolate herself from others explains why Celie remains alone and friendless throughout much of the movie.
The film portrays the extent of Celie’s extensive abuse though a series of violent and abusive relationships that control Celie, and force her to contain emotions. As a young girl, Celie’s stepfather easily orders Celie around, and exacerbates Celie’s self-confidence by molesting her to further submission. Though her stepfather took care of Celie’s basic needs, he never displayed parental love towards his stepdaughter, resulting in a Celie who for a long time never knew the meaning of love. Albert continues this train of abuse by constantly insulting Celie for every flaw he finds with her, beating her from purely visceral impulses, and sexually harassing her for his pleasure and dominance. Albert assigns Celie marginal household chores and farm duties that occupy most of her time, leaving her no time to meet other members of the community. Indeed, she lives out her days working in the fields, cleaning the kitchen, and tending to the animals. Celie copes with this exploitation and isolation by becoming a wall that does not respond to acts of violence. She finds strength in herself and refrains from extending herself to Sophia and other members of the black community. Albert’s worst form of abuse lies not with the physical and verbal abuse he instills; he sinks to his worst level when he cuts Celie of from all contact with her only true friend, Nettie. By losing her only friend Nettie, she loses the only person who cares deeply for her; without a friend and companion for mutual support, Celie loses all her poise and allows her abuse to continue.
Though many women, if put in Celie’s situation, would have refused to endure continued psychological abuse,...

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