Gender In The Color Purple

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Abstract: This article explores and analyzes the roles of Identity, Gender and Racism as depicted by Alice Walker, mainly in her novel The Color Purple. Alice Walker has been a prolific and highly respected writer. She became internationally known in the 1980s with the publication of The Color Purple and its subsequent film release. In the novel, Walker deals with the powerful, expressive fiction about the black woman’s struggle for survival, wholeness, and sexual, political, and racial equality. Alice Walker’s works, similarly, are closely related to issues of race and gender and self exploration. As a political activist, Walker has worked for civil rights in Liberty County, Georgia and a number of civil rights projects in Mississippi. Georgia…show more content…
Celie lives with her Younger sister Nettie and a brood of half brothers and sisters. She lives a life of abuse and moil with a mother who is sickly and worn out with childbearing and soon dies, and Alphonso, whom she thinks is her father. But who later turns out to be her stepfather. Celie lives like a slave- cooking, cleaning and looking after the other children. She is denied to go to school, because according to her stepfather, she is ‘too dumb to keep going to school’ (CP 9). She is repeatedly raped by him and becomes pregnant twice, but the babies are taken away from her. Celie becomes a mother of two children born of incestuous union but they are sold by Alphonso for monetary benefit. Celie’s life is the representation of the female slaves whose children were forcefully taken away by the slave masters who enjoyed the financial gain by selling children. Celie mingles her physical suffering with the psychological torture through many letters that she writes to God and her sister. Alice Walker’s The Color Purple revolves around sexual violence and rape. Charles L. Proudfit says: ‘Walker enables the readers to enter into the private thoughts and emotional state of Celie’s traumatized, guilt and shame-ridden, and depressed fourteen year protagonist, who became a victim of rape and incest’
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