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Alice Walker’s the color purple: A formidable journey in search of self
J. Jyotsna,
Published in IUP Publications
Volume: 15
Issue: 1
Pages: 27 - 32
This paper attempts to comprehend and describe the pains of the alienated women characters in Alice Walker’s The Color Purple, an epistolary novel that hinges on the trials, tribulations, and the final triumph of Celie, who represents the oppressed black women. Search for self and quest for identity is a dominant theme in African American women’s literature. Against this backdrop, the novel poignantly delineates Celie’s efforts at identifying and asserting her “self” in the midst of various tormenting experiences she encounters. Her experiences as a helpless daughter, a powerless wife, and a voiceless mother poignantly impact her outlook on life, and these experiences force her to evolve as a determined and responsible woman. Her character advances from stoical submission to personal responsibility and formidable assertiveness. She exploits the power of letter writing to look within and rightfully express her concerns. In the course of time, her letters become an instrument of self-realization and self-mastery, and she deftly uses the letters to define her life’s mission and emerge as a holistic individual. Through Celie, Walker hints that oppression of black women can be conquered by introspection rather than searching for external solutions. The novel highlights the importance of discovering one’s self and realizing one’s identity in an alien soil and culture. © 2020 IUP. All Rights Reserved.
About the journal
JournalIUP Journal of English Studies
PublisherIUP Publications