The Color Purple Essay, Research Paper
?The Color Purple? by Alice Walker is the story of a black woman named Cellie whose life is chronicled by letters she writes to God and her sister. Through out her life, Cellie is subjected to awful things, interesting people, joy and pain, and peace towards the end. It is an inspiring book about life and what a person makes of it.
This is one of the better books I have read all year, both in academic work, and personal reading. It is very easy to read, and the bright and colorful words the author uses to describe the characters and the scenery makes the experience much more enjoyable. At certain places of the book, the story line was difficult to follow especially when Cellie was talking. I realized the second time through that it was purposely written in certain ways to highlight the character strong points as well as their weak points.
I finished the book approximately one and a half weeks before the writing of this paper, and I took that time to read the book again. The reason I read the book again was because I always find things in the story that I may have missed the first time, and because it can help when writing a paper such as this.
Unfortunately, reading the book a second time did not help, well at least not the parameters of this type of paper. I am not sure how I react to this book. With the first two books covered in class I could find some kind of relation to the characters or the story line.
In Man?s search for meaning by Viktor Frankl I was able to relate the struggle man has to overcome obstacles and using logotherapy to show people that they have a
reason to live. At the time we were reading the book my father and my family was going through difficult times and the book seemed to fit appropriately into my life at the time.
?Rabbit Run? by John Updike was a book that I could relate to my freshman year in college when I did something similar to Harry Angstrom. I left my girlfriend back home for a trashy girl up at school. I ran from home, and I changed my demeanor when I was away, in a scene I ran like Harry did. Luckily, I was able to return and to get a chance to make things right again.
With ?The Color Purple? it is difficult to find a way it reacts with my life. It is hard to compare the life and experiences of a woman from down south who has had more bad luck in one day then some people have in their entire lives, with the life and experiences of me, a 19 year-old from New Jersey.
I can however react on what I felt when I was reading the book. As I said earlier, I had to read the book twice to ensure that I got all the necessary information out of it. The thing that stood out in my mind towards the middle of the book, and especially as the conclusion drew near was the message of hope.
At first Cellie had a pretty rough life. An outcast, she was handed a husband with awful kids, removed from her children, forced to take care of awful children, lost all contact with her beloved sister, and forced to work in the fields, with out any rest. She never gave up, and that is one of the things I admire about her. Through the years she grew, and continued to write to God to help her and to guide her. After she was introduced to Shug, a woman who had always been a supreme being in here eyes, Cellie began to transform and become more sure of herself as a person, and a woman.
With the guidance and inspiration of Shug, Cellie had a better outlook on life, was able to feel new sensations, try new things, meet new people, and leave her husband who she did not like. Shug totally captivated her, and while that was not always a good thing, it was not a bad thing. Shug gave Cellie hope in life; she also gave her a window to her beloved sister.
When Cellie found that her sister was alive her focus turned from God to her. Reading about all the adventures her sister was having with the family she was traveling with and her children who were with her, gave Cellie new life.
Writing to sisters was inspiring for both of them. It was a strong contact that was never broken; even when they were not sure of the other was alive.
The book has hope ? it also has frustration. The racism that is present through the book is similar, although not quite as bad, with the racism in today?s world.
The family structure, and how it changes so drastically, and so quickly was a bit disheartening to see and read. It was almost like there were no moral values present. One spouse would leave, and a new one would appear on the next page. Adultery is something almost every character is guilty of, and the way they treated each other was far from civil at times. I guess it was the era, and the way that the blacks handled things in that time.
I can?t decide if I like Shug. Even as I am writing this paper I am not sure. I think that as talented as she is, and the effect she has on people, maybe just maybe she could have handled herself better. She never gave a damn about anyone. It would appear that she did or a time, but then as their newness and usefulness wore down, but not completely out, she would leave. After a time, when people could become fresh again in her eyes she would remerge and pick up where she left off.
The scene at the end of the book when Cellie and Mr. ___ are sitting on the porch working on the pants Cellie is designing they are both still in love with Shug, but Shug has moved on.
I guess that?s the nature of the beast. Some people are just users, and no good, but for some reason have redeeming qualities that people are attracted to. So Shug is not all-bad. She inspires others, but does not do a whole lot for herself spiritually or psychology.
I would recommend this book, in fact I did. My girlfriend is currently reading it. We plan to rent the movie after she is finished with it. I don?t expect much from the movie. I know that Whoopi Goldberg and Danny Glover are in it, both are talented actors, but cinematic versions of books usually leave important facts out, and embellish for the sake of a picture. I won?t hold my hopes up too high, but I will give it a chance.
This is a book that I know I will come back to when I am looking for a good story to read and inspire. This book has earned a spot on the same shelf as ?Catcher in the rye.?