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This Paper Is About The Controversial Racial Aspects Of Alice Walker's Book The Color Purple.

2077 words - 8 pages

"The Unbleachable Stain for Black Males in The Color Purple"Alice Walker's novel and Steven Spielberg's film adaptation "The Color Purple" have sparked huge controversy in the African-American community and the media. Most of the controversy revolves around the belief that the novel, as well as, the film portrays black male characters in a negative manner. They are characterized as stereotypical abusers and rapists who are simply there to tyrannize the women in their life. This is not the first time Walker has been linked to racial and gender controversy relating to the black male characters portrayed in her novels. Walker, in her own defense, has stated several times that women all too often are abused by the men they love. She adds that all of the characters in her novels, male and female, represent people that she has known throughout her life.Alice Walker grew up during the fifties in Georgia, within a community caught up in racist issues and dire poverty. Her parents experienced first hand the hardships of not only slavery but also the oppressive sharecropping system. During her childhood, Walker had to make the best of what little her parentscould offer her in terms of education and support. Being the only girl in a household of boys, she also had to suffer under male domination. Far from thetraditional pranks and quarrels one would expect, Alice suffered from outright violence brought about by her brothers. Most notably, she was shot in the face by one of her male siblings and suffered emotional and physical trauma, as well as some blindness related to the incident. Walker's difficulties and hardships which she experienced both at home and growing up played a large role in her participation in the widespread civil rights movement. In between studies, she traveled to Uganda and other areas of Africa both to discover her heritage as an African-American woman, as well as to uncover her roots and origin. She combines these experiences of race and gender conflicts within her many works of literature and allows the pride she feels for her race to develop from the characters."The Color Purple" is an excellent example of a gradual awakening by African-American women by telling the story of Celie, an unfortunate girl who must suffer both the cruelty of white men as well as the merciless enslavement of wives within black society. In the novel, Celie grows up in a world in which there is nothing but violence, rape and life as a slave in her life. Beginning as a child she suffers sexual abuse by her step father, Alphonso, and in her teens involuntarily becomes the captive wife of a brutal husband whom she refers to asMister. The novel consists of letters written by Celie throughout her lifetime which gives the reader an indication as to the force and lack of love associated with her marriage simplyby showing that Celie does not even know her husband's name. Throughout this period of the book Celie is learning how to fit into a society which expects...

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