The Heroine’s Growth and Salvation in The Col Purple毕业论文
- Introduction 1
- Demonstration 2
- An overview of the womanism and related studies 2
- The reasons for the formation of heroines’ characters 8
- Family background 8
- Cruel social reality 8
- Religious reason 9
- The racial discrimination 10
- The factors leading to the change of heroines’ characters 11
- The effects of Shug 11
- The unremitting support from her sister Nettie 12
- The oppression of male chauvinism and her own resistance 14
3. Conclusion 15
The Heroine’s Growth and Salvation in The Color Purple
Alice Walker is one of the most influential African American women writers in the contemporary American literature. She was born on February 9, 1944 in the Eatonton, Georgia. She was the eighth and the last daughter in a sharecropper family. Her right eye was blind when she was eight years old because she was shot accidently by a HB gun by her brother. Since the childhood, she read Jane Eyre which impressed and inspired her greatly Although she lived in a poor family, she received good education. After she graduated from the Spelman College in Atlanta in 1961, she entered into Sarah Lawrence College in New York. She published her first works-poems as well as stories in 1965 when she began to show her literary talent. But her black’s literature or culture was not embodied in her works in this period. She went to East Africa as an exchange student in the third year when she was studying in Sarah Lawrence College. She described the experience in Africa in her most noted works The Color Purple1. Alice Walker obtained the rich heritage of the black’s culture through her staying in Uganda and Kenya.
She took active part in the Civil Rights movement after she graduated from the
college in 1966. She was also a radical feminist and once worked as the editor of a magazine. The Civil Rights movement and the black writers such as W.E.B Doubois, Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Huston made her nationalist consciousness awaken which played a vital role in the shaping of Alice Walker’s the creative orientation and the style. Especially Zora Neale Huston who is a noted black feminist writer exerted a great influence on her writing career. She became a teacher to teach the creative writing and black literature at the Jackson State University and Tougaloo College respectively after graduation from the college. She went on writing during the period.
1 Alice Walker. The Color Purple [M]. New York: Harcourt Brace，1982.
Alice Walker is the important representative of the Southern writers in the circle of American literary. She thinks she is a realist and feminist writer of racial minorities different from the rest of the fellow writers. She began her writing career with the publication of the poetry collection which is entitled: Once: Poems (1968). She is a prolific writer whose works include poetry, novels, short stories essays and criticism. As a devoted writer, She writes a lot of works such as The Third Life of Grange Copeland (1970), Meridian (1976), The Color Purple (1982), The Temple of My Familiar(1989), Possessing the Secret of Joy (1992), By the Light of My Father’s Smile (1998), The Way Forward Is with a Broken Heart (2000), Now is the Time to open Your Heart: A Novel (2004)·The themes of these works mainly include fighting against sexism, racism and classism which encourages her fellow African Americans to struggle for the rights, equality, esteem, worth and identity. She also cares about such issues as the environmental, womanist cause and economic justice in her works. The rich experience of life and multiple identities such as the poor life of the childhood and the experience obtained from the political movement and travel to Africa serve as the source of her works.
- An overview of the womanism and related studies
Alice Walker published the third novel The Color Purple in 1982 which is her most successful and the most popular novel. It is just because of the novel that makes her win the American highest prizes: the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award and the National Book Critic Award. The novel was adapted for film in 1984 by Spielberg which brought Alice Walker to the people all over the world. The adaption brings her the nationwide fame and popularity.
The novel mainly tells a story of Celie who undergoes the double oppression since the childhood. The novel is mainly composed of 92 letters which include the letters of Celie writing to God, Celie writing to Nettie and Nettie writing to Celie. The story takes place in Macon County, Georgia and during the first half of the twentieth
century. Most of the stories occur in the black community and some of them in the white areas. The protagonist Celie has a happy family once whose father owns a store. Her father, mother and younger sister lead a happy life. But one day her father is lynched by the white men because of the envy of the business. The misfortune destroys the family and her mother collapses mentally because she can not accept the reality. She marries Alphoson in order to survive and Celie follows her mother to enter Alphoson’s family. From then on, her nightmare begins. She is raped by her stepfather in 14 years old and gives birth to 2 children who have been given others by her stepfather without telling her their whereabouts. Later she is married to Mr._ by force whose intent is only to find a person to take care of her children although there is no love between them. She is like a slave to do the cooking, cleaning and working in the fields. There are not any equality and rights in the family. She suffers the double oppression politically and economically and takes all of this for granted because of the ideology she has been educated since the childhood.She has no choice but to pour out her torture by writing to God and writing to her sister Nettie. Under the love of Shug, the encouragement of her sister Nettie and the influence of her daughter-in-law Sophia, she begins to awaken and struggle against the maltreatment of the men and fights for her rights. She gains the independence in economy by the creativity and the tradition. At last she unites with her sister and her missing children and leads a happy life.
Alice Walker makes use of the narrative style of epistolary which is rarely
applied in the long novel. The novel is composed of 92 letters most of which are the letters Celie writes to God and her blood sister Nettie and some of which are the letters Nettie writes to Celie. The protagonist and the teller of the story, Celie is a person who has not received good education. Her language is very simple and not so accurate sometimes. That is the reason why the story is more believable. What’s more, this novel has applied some advantages of American Southern literature, black literature and woman literature. The unique writing style and the profound theme make it a famous and popular novel quickly. It is the novel that makes Alice Walker become a rising star and one of the most accomplished black women writers in the