The Color Purple by Alice Walker is a very controversial novel, which many people found to be very offensive. It is basically the struggle for one womans independence. The main character in The Color Purple is Celie a coloured woman with little or no education at all. She is one who has been used and abused by all the men in her life, and because of these men, she has very little courage or ambition in her life. She has so little courage, that all she wants to do is just survive. Through the various women she meets throughout here life like: Shug, her sister, and Harpos wife, she learns how to enjoy herself, gain courage and happiness.
She finally learns enough and with the final straw she could no longer bare, she leaves her husband and becomes an independent happy woman. Celie was an abused woman from all the men in her life. She was abused and raped by her stepfather and then by her own husband. This abusiveness took away all of Celies ambitions and drove her into a state of fear. That is why she refers to these men only known as Mister, for she had lost her feelings. She feared them so much that she would always do whatever she was told without hesitation, because she was fearful of being beaten.
The first evidence comes from the opening line of the novel, You better not never tell nobody but God (P. 11). That is why all her letters open with Dear God, because she fears what will happen to her if she does tell anyone. And it is because of these men, that she has very little courage or ambition, for they took the fight or will out of her. One of the most important women that Celie meets in her life is Shug Avery. Shug Avery is not only a friend to Celie but also a lover. It is by being a lover that Celie learns self-respect and a little happiness in her life.
Like when Shug Avery showed Celie how to enjoy herself. Listen she say, right down there in your is a little button that gits real hot when you do you know what with somebody. It get hotter and hotter and then it melt. That the good part. But other parts good too, she say (P. 79). I found this real important as it showed Celie she can enjoy herself and there is more to her then just being a slave to Mister. Another important woman in Celies life was Harpos wife Sofia. Sofia wasnt as important to Celie as Shug Avery or her sister Nettie, but it was Sofias actions that I believe helped inspire Celie.
For when Harpo tried to beat Sofia, thanks to Celies advice to Harpo to beat his wife, Sofia would always fight back. Not only emotionally but physically as well, for one day when Celie was going to Harpos house she saw Harpo and Sofia fighting like twos mens (P. 44). And I think Celie was really shocked when Sofia confronted her on why Celie told Harpo to beat Sofia. I say it cause Im a fool, I say it cause Im jealous of you. I say it cause you do what I cant. What that? She say. Fight I say. She say all my life I had to fight. I had to fight my daddy.
I had to fight my brothers cousins uncles. A girl child aint safe in a family of men. But I never thought Id have to fight in my own house (P. 46). I believe this really helped open Celies eyes. For she was not the only one who grew up like her, except Sofia didnt let what happened to Celie happen to her, she fought back and this fighting I believe helped or at least inspire Celie. The most important person to Celie was her sister Nettie. Celie thought the world of Nettie, for Nettie was the one person Celie could tell anything to.
Nettie helped Celie gain happiness and courage by trying to educate Celie. Like Helping me with the spelling and everything else she think I need to know. No matter what happen, Nettie steady try to teach me what go on in the world (P. 25). This was real encouraging for Celie as it gave her confidence. This came to an end though, when Mister ran Nettie off his land and told Nettie to never comeback. The final straw for Celie was when she found Netties letters. For when Mister kicked Nettie off his farm, Celie say, Write. She say, What? I say, Write.
She say, Nothing but death can keep me from it. She never write (P. 26). Celie thought Nettie never wrote, until with the help of Shug Avery, she found a whole bunch of the letters Nettie wrote to her. And when she thought about how Mister kept these letters from her, she got so mad that she wanted to kill Mister and that was the final straw, she was going to leave Mister! Celie eventually went on to start her own successful business and ended up inheriting her parents farm, where she went on to live happily ever after with her own independence.