Violence In The Color Purple

Powerful Essays
The proper historical orientation is very important to realize and restate the inherent forms of violence in The Color Purple. The era of racial segregation and black woman’s turmoil is critical in forming Walker’s vision in The Color Purple. Though much has been talked about feminist issues and political elements in the novel, yet very few have critically analyzed it as a novel of Violence- Violence through acts, speeches and social commentary. It is a story which links silence to violence. Before we dwell into the paper, let us read the broader definition of violence which would weave the pattern of my paper. According to any dictionary, the term “violence” also refers to "the intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual,…show more content…
The title of the book is a very important symbol. Celie goes through life having a hard time noticing the beautiful aspects and appreciating them. She had a difficult life and was abused as an adolescent. The color purple is continually equated with suffering and pain. Sofia's swollen, beaten face is described as an 'eggplant’(as often cited in the novel). Mr. ________ beats her to exercise his pent-up frustrations (since he could neither marry Shug Avery nor Nettie), and his son, Harpo beats his wife so that she should mind. But Sofia has the real angst “to kill”—to kill her husband’s subjugation, to kill her pathetic emotions, to kill the racial prejudices and to kill the socio-cultural injustice. Whether she succeeds or not is not the concern of the text, but how she confronts the violence behind the closed doors of her house and in the open road of Georgia is the plot of resistance. Her physical strength symbolizes the new forms of revolt against the so called man’s right to beat his wife. She is a woman who dares to call “hell no” to a white mayor’s wife and knocks him down straight on the road. Historians, says Walker, are the enemies of women, especially of black women: what history there has been is “a history of Dispossession”( Tucker, p. 82). Celie, Sofia, Nettie and Shug Avery design their own stories of…show more content…
It also reminds us of Jean Toomer’s Cane which shows us the gray shades of lynching. The nineteenth century Georgia is very cruel to those men who desire or demand equal and adequate space in the social set-up. Just one incident of Celie’s father being lynched, deteriorates both the daughter’s lives. The madwoman (Celie’s mother) in her attic loses her sensibility, her grace and her respect because her husband was lynched. Even in a much modernized society like Georgia, woman is idealized as the mother of the human race yet she is abused, beaten and exploited, threatened and thrown, casted and “outcasted, and later called as disgrace and
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