Motherly Love In Alice Walker's Color Purple

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Motherly love in The Color Purple

Throughout The Color Purple, a novel written by Alice Walker, there many important themes, but one of the most apparent is motherhood. As explored in The Color Purple motherhood is a type of love that can come from a parental figure, and we learn that motherhood does not exclude men. Motherly love is essential to survival. Maternal love is the concept that love can be centered around supporting someone that you truly care about as well as being there for them when no one else.

It quickly becomes apparent that Celie has no mother figure of her own growing up. She has an abusive father in her life that initially does not care for her. He uses her for his own pleasure and disregards the consequences of his
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and Harpo. Although the dynamic of the relationship changed dramatically as the novel progressed, motherly love had always played a big role in their relationship. Initially this love was not expressed, and Mr. felt that he had to raise his children a certain way, which was to teach his son to act in a manly way. Mr.’s intention was to exclude motherly love from his son 's life entirely, so that Harpo could grow up and be the man that his father had always wanted him to be. Although most of their relationship was cold, never truly expressing emotion, which were not characters experiencing a motherly bond. Once Shug left, Mr. broke down, he was feeling his worst, the women whom he loved was no longer with him. Motherly love is necessary for survival, which was supported when Harpo began to take care of his father. “...After I left, Mr.____ live like a pig. Shut up in the house so much it stunk. Wouldn’t let nobody in until finally Harpo forced his way in. Clean the house, got food.” (227) Walker support the idea of the essential need of motherly love, even if the stereotypical father son relationship was nothing like a motherly relationship. Walker was able to redefine motherly love, through the use of these two characters, she demonstrates that this love does not only occur in the relationships between a child and their mother. Although through most of
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