A Heterosexual? Essay, Research Paper
What makes a person a homosexual or a heterosexual? To many of us it is specifically the fact that if one has sexual intercourse with another from their own sex they are considered to be a homosexual. If one is to have sexual relations with the opposite sex, they are considered to be a heterosexual. What if someone has sex with both of the genders? This type of person is to be considered a bisexual. My question is if these standards hold true in all cases? If a woman is pushed away by the male gender, such as Celie was by her father and Albert, and experiments sexual acts with another woman does this still classify her as a lesbian? Or is she to be considered a bisexual? Maybe, she could even be considered a heterosexual. I believe those years of abuse towards Celie, from her father and her husband drove her away from the male sex. They gave her nothing but pain and anguish, which caused her to become bitter towards males and the idea of heterosexuality. Both men brought her nothing but pain, so how can you blame Celie for having a sexual affair with another woman. In The Color Purple, Alice Walker, portrays Celie as a lesbian, however it is not because she has sexual relations with woman, it is because she has been driven away by the male gender due to the abuse she suffered through as a child to an adult.
As a child Celie was constantly harassed and abused by her father, Fonso. We see in the beginning of the novel that ?Celie?s dad is expressed with bad imagery. He shows this by raping Celie, and beating her?(Jefferson 1). As a small girl Celie was unable to defend herself from her fathers never ending torture. It was brought to our attention that Fonso would use Celie for sex in the first letter that Celie wrote to God:
?Just say you gonna do what your mammy couldn’t. First he put his thing up gainst my hip and sort of wiggled it around. Then he grab hold my titties. Then he push his thing inside my *censored*. When that hurt, I cry. He start to choke me, saying you better shut up and get used to it?( Walker1-2 ).
It is evident that Celie was held against her will and raped on many different occasions. The idea of sex to her is lie on the bed while the man does what ever he wants to due. Sex to her was something that was expected, it was never intended for her pleasure it was only for Fonso. Not only would Fonso abuse Celie physically he would also abuse her mentally, telling her that she was ugly, fat, and dirty to Albert trying to sell her instead of Nettie:
? She ain’t fresh tho, but I spect you know that. She spoiled. Twice. And she big already; She ugly. But she ain’t no stranger to hard work. You can do everything just like you want to and she ain’t gonna make you feed it or clothe it; She ugly. Don’t even look like she kin to Nettie. But she?ll make the better wife. She ain’t smart either, and I?ll just be fair, you have to watch her or she?ll give away everything you own. But she can work like a man? ( 9 ).
This statement by Fonso proves the point that no respect or love was shown towards Celie. She was a piece of property that was currently owned by Fonso, he could do whatever he wanted to do at anytime. At this point in Celie?s life she is already afraid of men, and looking at woman as tender creatures: ? I don?t even look at mens. That?s the truth. I look at women, tho, cause I?m not scared of them? ( 6 ). Even at the age of fourteen, young Celie is deathly afraid to even look at a man. Stated from George Stade, ?men are pretty, spiteful, ?hurtful,? and treacherous?(Stade 264). The only comfort that she is able to find is in the eyes of woman, Nettie. Women don?t abuse other women, they cherish one another and are capable of fully understanding what the others are going through.
The marriage Celie and Albert shared was nothing off of what she had to endure at home with Fonso. Celie?s role was once again clear to her, obey her master at all costs. Just as it was with Fonso Celie was constantly being hit and raped. Having sex with Albert was never a positive moment for Celie. There was never love involved, it was basically Albert doing whatever he wanted to do. Celie explains to Shug the chore of having sex with Albert:
?Mr.___ can tell you, I don?t like it at all. What is it like? He git up on you, heist your nightgown round your waist, plunge in. Most times I pretend I ain?t there. He never know the difference. Never ast me how I feel, nothing. Just do his business, get off, go to sleep?(Walker 81).
Celie has just explained to Shug how she has never experienced pleasure with herself, not even with Albert. The man never even asked her how she felt. The relationship that Celie and Albert had was one of a take-take relationship, instead of a give-take relationship. Albert always instructed Celie to do things instead of asking her impute on situations. Even on their wedding night, barely knowing Albert at all, was forced to have sex with him. Through all of the horrible events that are taking place before her eyes Celie still thinks positive thoughts. However, it is only through the realization that Shug Avery has also had sex with Albert. Again Celie shows us that she is doing what the man says, and fanaticizing about what a woman could do for her. When Albert notices that Shug has returned, Celie was just as excited as Albert to see her back: ?Shug Avery is coming to town; He tell me, wash this. Iron that. Look for this. Look for that. Find this. Find that. He groan over holes in his sock. I move round darning and ironing, finding hanskers? (25). Shug brings a tremendous amount of joy to Celie; it is her only glimmer of hope in her rather hopeless life. Not only does the image of Shug help Celie through the unbearable nights with Albert, it enables Celie to have a common interest with Albert. All in all there is no possible way that Celie could survive the agony of living with Albert if it were not for Shug Avery.
Shug Avery was the only person that was able to show Celie what love truly was. Through all of the abuse caused by Albert and Fonso it is amazing that Celie was alive. But was she really alive? Being alive is more than breathing in air; it is the ability to express yourself without being attacked, which Celie did not have. Until Shug Avery entered Celie?s life. Celie had sex many times whether it was with Fonso, or Albert, but she never made love. Shug Avery taught Celie what it was to feel pleasure: ?I look at it and touch it with my finger. A little shiver go through me. Nothing much. But just enough to tell me this the right button to mash? (82). Celie had never experienced real sexual pleasure in her whole life, up to that point. Shug has now opened up a whole new world for Celie, a world that enables her to be happy. Shug might have taught Celie how to pleasure herself, but that?s not all she did. What is even more important than that is Shug taught Celie how to feel good about herself and not allow Albert to push her around, to be independent. Celie finally realizes that she can survive without Albert and to stand up for herself when needed. Celie seeing that she can be independent form Albert mustards enough strength and will to actually stand up for herself and tell Albert off: ? You a low down dog is what?s wrong, I say. It?s time to leave you and enter into the Creation. And your dead body just the welcome mat I need?(207). In the past Celie would never had such a thing to Albert, in fact she would never had said that at all. Shug transformed Celie into a person, and Celie fell in love because of that. This was the first time since Nettie was with her that anyone has shown her any compassion. For that reason Celie turned her love from men to women. Men would not give Celie the time of day, but women would give her the world.
Celie was driven away by the male sex, and attracted to the female gender because of the constant harassment that she suffered through as a child and an adult. To her men were all wife beaters who did not give respect to any woman. Because of the punishment that she went through her whole life there is no wonder that she despises men. The first time that she was offered love just happened to be by a woman. Celie acted upon this offering and was finally able to share her heart with another. So how can you blame Celie for being attracted to Shug. You can?t because love is love, no matter what gender you prefer.