The Color Purple is a novel written by Alice Walker. This novel was written in the year 1982. The following year it received the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. This novel has been since adapted into a musical and a film both of which bear the same name as the book. This book takes place in rule Georgia. The story centers on the life of African-American women who lived in the South during the 1930s. The story addresses issues that African-American women experienced in this time and this location including the particularly low position they held within social culture.
This novel has often been a target for censorship and it is currently listed on the American Library Association list of the top 100 most challenged books because of its explicit content, in particular its violence. The story follows the protagonist who is also the narrator. She is a poor, 14-year-old black girl who is uneducated and currently lives in the south. She writes letters regularly to God because the man whom she believes to be her father regularly beats her and raped her. This father has impregnated her once already, pregnancy which resulted in the birth of her daughter. The main characters father took the daughter away shortly after her birth. When the main character conceives and gives birth to her second child, a boy, her father also takes the child.
The story is one full of themes particularly sexism and racism. Throughout the entire novel both teams are prevalent as reflection upon the social context of the setting for the novel. The main character shows internalized oppression when she tells another character to beat his significant other in the same way that she was treated. She finds her own strength as she begins to reject violent advances. The racism is prevalent because of the imprisonment of the characters that are violently beaten or rejecting offers from white mayors. Regularly think main character reflects upon the racial stereotypes that are held by African-Americans against their African counterparts.
The book also focuses on traditional gender roles and breaks outside of what are typically conceived as male and female roles. Some of the gender traits and sexual ambiguity come to pass and confident sexuality allows some female characters to resist male domination. Overall this book carries with it many strong examples of the prevalent subject matter and has been converted into a film and theatrical version both of which have received many awards.
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