Black Women In Alice Walker's Celie Finds A Voice

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Celie Finds a Voice A fiction novel that is often harshly criticized for its obscene, yet realistic view of a poor, illiterate, African American woman and her escape from the grasps of her abusive husband would be Alice Walker’s The Color Purple. This novel creates a global message that is portrayed by a multitude of literary devices and may be thoroughly analyzed by high school students to gain various aspects of societal injustice over race, power, and gender. The book is written solely in letters, whether to God, or from one sister to the other. This epistolary form allows one to analyze and compare the life of Celie who is settled in Georgia and the life of her sister, Netti, who also endures discrimination at an African missionary. Walker…show more content…
Female African American writers tend to focus more on the experience of black women (which we will consider for this novel). Black women are often introduced as the minority in the race, especially seen in writings during the 1970’s. Most of these writings have female characters who have domestic duties, which can reveal the passing of traditions and cultures from one generation to the next and the role of a woman in an inconvenienced household. They also deal with the image and perception of the Black woman, whether through looks, skin color, or her voice. The woman’s narrative is often formed gradually, often times alongside a woman who has already discovered herself, but we must consider that “it may take the form of exploring one’s own abilities, needs, and desires” (Tyson, 391). The form of narrative and self-identity, or self-acceptance is a common theme amongst these books because of overcoming violence, oppression, and/or the lack of power of the race and gender within societal views. Considering these factors, it is more practical to identify each topic and analyze them individually rather than the…show more content…
Through this part of the novel, where narrators are switched up (epistolary form), the life of the African American woman and newer cultures are compared to the older, more traditional cultures of an actual African tribe. While Celie still endures forms of abuse, Nettie reveals her own struggles while in Africa. Here, Black women are still seen as inferior. In this tribe halfway across the globe, women are doing the same as Celie. Endless labor, caring for children, and more. However, the Olinka tribe also requires more. The young women are forced to be circumsized and given facial scars to represent lasting traditions. One perspective concludes: “It is a way the Olinka can show they still have their own ways... even though the white man has taken everything else” (114). While they are only fighting white supremacy, they do not realize the harm they are doing to their own kind. The introduction of females to this initiation ceremony condones the psychological and physical state of the woman from their own race. Yet, the women still have each other for survival, which is such an important factor considering what they face. Celie’s realization of the overall bias of the female African leads her to venturing off with Shug and creating her own business. The breakthrough she makes with her own life reveals that Black women are empowering and are able to possess

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