Physicality In The Color Purple

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Touch. Think of the sense of touch. Think of everything one can feel, be a part of. Touch in its most singular form is something that flows through society as prevalent as wind in the air. Through the harrowing pages of Alice Walker’s The Color Purple, the recurring theme of touch, or more importantly physicality and its various pitfalls and opportunities reign clear in every character. Whether in the hands of Mr. or the arms of Shug, physicality connects each character throughout the entirety of their complicated lives. In the beginning there was pain. No other way about it. Protagonist Celie begins her story with rape from her supposed “Pa” and her life, instead of lifting from that low point, stays grounded in a state of peril for quite…show more content…
Most primarily Squeak and Harpo, or rather Squeak herself and her relationship to Harpo. After Sofia leaves him, Squeak is Harpo’s escape. She is the type of woman his father would want him to be with, demure, obedient, and quiet. Yet her love for him is so strong is does not stop her from standing up to Sofia at Shug’s concert, with consequences. The couples interaction after the fight between the women accurately portrays the dynamic they have “Finally he turn loose her (Sofia’s) arm, reach down and cradle poor little Squeak in his arms. He coo and coo at her like she a baby.” (85). Squeak is weak. Walker makes that abundantly apparent through her nickname and her actions. She clings to Harpo like the only safety she has. Yet as time goes on, changes begin to occur for Squeak. She tries to become a singer like Shug, tries to get out of her stereotype. She doesn’t want to be Squeak anymore. And even when she helps Sofia out of jail, and Harpo embraces her again there is a change “ Harpo say, I love you Squeak. He kneel down and try to put his arms around her waist. She stand up. My name Mary Agnes, she say.” (99). Finding power in her name changed the effect Harpo’s touch had on her, from being coddled like a baby, Mary Agnes steps away from Harpo’s childlike embrace, and declares herself someone

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