Celie in “The Color Purple” by Alice Walker

Updated June 24, 2021

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Celie in “The Color Purple” by Alice Walker essay

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In Alice Walker’s “The Color Purple” Celie starts off as a young fourteen year old girl who has gone through and continues to go through abuse and rapes. During this time the lifestyles were very different in comparison to today’s society. Women were mentally and physically abused by men as they held the ‘power’ in society. Celie lacks a lot of confidence and is never able to hold her ground. However, as the story goes on Celie eventually finds her inner self, builds emotion and awareness, and gains her long lost confidence.

All through the story, many females were abused by men. The mistreatment of females is undeniable in The Color Purple. It is especially uncovered in relationship among Celie and her father. At an extremely youthful age Celie was exposed to abuse. Celie was assaulted more than once and pregnant twice by her stepfather and was informed to stay silent concerning it. After her stepfather states that she “better not never tell nobody but God, It’d kill your mammy,” I believe at this moment is when she felt the fear of men to a whole other level. Celie for all intents and purposes battled for joy her entire presence. Her dad sold her to a man who had no expectation of adoring or thinking about her.

Celie’s husband whom she alludes to as Mr. physically and verbally manhandles her. Mr. felt that the best way to hold a lady in line was to beat her and he did only that all through the story. Like any lady would, Celie lost herself and regard for herself. Living with Mr. was a time full of murkiness and contempt. Nettie was the first person to tell Celie to fight back what she believes isn’t fair. Celie responded with her situation and states how anything she would attempt would get knocked down and her abuse would continue.

Over time Celie would start to become more aware of herself and her surroundings. She starts becoming assertive with her reactions which is a great step forward towards finding her inner self. It took a long time for Celie to find her inner self and to battle back for what she acknowledges as true and hold her ground. Following quite a while of maltreatment, Celie never again feared Mr. and was able to fight back in times of need. In further attempt to find her inner self she begins to interpret god in a different way. Celie is handed these beliefs from birth but has no idea as to why there’s a significance.

Celie pictures god as an old white man who does not listen to her because of the assumption that her voice is never heard. Later on she learns from Shug that god can be whom ever you want it to be and that you can perceive god however you’d like. At the end you of the novel you can see she maintains her knowledge from Shug and ends her final letter with, ‘Dear God. Dear stars, dear trees, dear sky, dear peoples. Dear Everything. Dear God.” (285) This shows how Celie now sees God in nature, and in all things, including her fellow people.

Throughout the novel Celie is living and learning and at the same time building up emotions and awareness. With Celie going through repetitive abuse, she was never able to live for what she wanted. The continuous abuse never gave Celie the ability of expressing her thoughts as they would only be ignored and shot down by the men in her life.

It’s not that she chose not to express her feelings towards others it’s that because of the continuous bashing it has caused Celie to fall into her own shell. Lost in her mind she cannot match what she feels with what she would like to say. For example, when Shug is in town Celie feels super excited but says nothing because of her unawareness. Celie has been quieted for such a long time that she has turned out to be familiar with having no voice. Her regular response is to state nothing.

“He beat me when you not here, I say. Who do, she say, Albert? Mr ____, I say. I can’t believe it, she say. What he beat you for? she ast. For being me and not you” (48). Always terrible when someone is suffering from physical abuse but Celie expressing herself to Shug shows how improved her awareness is starting to become. Shug’s guidance played an incredible role towards Celie’s wholesome transition. After seeking knowledge and visual learning from Shug, Celie realizes her very situation in life and begins to cry of sadness. Her emotions have kicked in which help express how she feels during certain situations.

Furthermore, while beginning the novel as a quiet unexpressive character Celie gains her long lost confidence. As we all know the continuous abuse Celie received as a young lady created a quiet and uneducated self. This caused her to become weaker and weaker as the normality for her growing up was to do as she was told and shut her mouth, no excuses. As Shug continues to educate Celie about life and different ways of portraying thoughts and perceiving, she claims Celie a virgin. Shug believes one must enjoy the pleasure to not be considered a virgin.

Shug being a huge voice for Celie’s guidance, gives her the confidence of being able to start fresh and move towards independence. Towards the end of the novel her letters start to become more developed and full of detail showing huge improvements from her first letters. Now not only is she able to express and analyze her feelings and emotions, but she now has certainty and understanding to verbalize the feelings and thought processes of others to bring the confidence out of them.

She becomes a voice for many other individuals around her age and is able to use her traumatizing childhood experiences as motivation. An amazing transition by Celie, her confidence is through the roof and opens up her very own clothing store! Adversity sure hit Celie hard but it was only for the best as she has found her own independence as well as becoming a successful business woman.

In Conclusion, Celie has gone through some drastic changes that have only made her life better. From being abused and having two kids by the age of fourteen to believing herself and becoming a successful business woman. As the story goes on Celie eventually finds her inner self, builds emotion and awareness, and gains her long lost confidence.

Celie in “The Color Purple” by Alice Walker essay

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Celie in “The Color Purple” by Alice Walker. (2021, Jun 24). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/celie-in-the-color-purple-by-alice-walker/


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