Stereotypes In The Color Purple

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Alice Walker’s The Color Purple depicts the difficult life of Celie as she struggles to find happiness in her life. Walker presents a clear pro-feminist message through Celie’s misery as she sticks to female stereotypes, Shug’s steady happiness while refuses to conform to female stereotypes, and Celie being rewarded when she defies typical stereotypes for women. Abiding by female stereotypes, Celie lacks joy and positivity in her life, contributing to Walker’s message of pro-feminism. While talking to Celie, Harpo’s wife, Sofia, tells Celie “‘you remind me of my mama… she under my daddy foot. Anything he say, goes… she never stand up for herself’” (Walker 41), to which Celie shrugs her shoulders and responds “‘he my husband… This life soon…show more content…
After Celie moves out with Shug, Grady and Squeak in spite of her husband’s wishes and threats, Celie finds that she is much more content with her life. In a letter to her sister, Celie writes “I am so happy. I got love, I got work, I got money, friends and time… [Darlene] say people think [I’m] dumb… What I care?... I’m happy” (215). Once Celie stands up for herself and speaks her mind to Mr. ____, she begins to feel happier and content with her life. Unlike her past self, who mindlessly obeys stereotypes and her husband, Celie acts more like Shug and disregards stereotypes in order to better her life. In Memphis, Celie eventually starts a business making pants, very different from the draining labor she had been doing back home. Celie becomes more independent, confident, and bold as she rejects the stereotypes she once relied on. As a result of dropping her old stereotypical tendencies, Celie is rewarded with an overwhelming surge of happiness and will to live. This drastic difference from her previous habits and feelings provides a defined message of pro-feminism in which a woman who defies stereotypes is rewarded and happier than one who does not. The Color Purple by Alice Walker follows Celie as she details her life through handwritten letters. Through Celie’s unhappiness as she follows stereotypes, Shug’s carefree positivity as she defies stereotypes and Celie’s
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