Outline and an abstract: The Color Purple
Could you please write an outline and an abstract for this essay
In “The Color Purple” by Alice Walker,Celie has been verbally, physically, and sexally abused by different men and has no real narrative voice. Which leaves her with little sense of self worth making her unable to live a happy, decent life. When Celie comes across Shug Avery, their relationship becomes intimate making Celie find her self with self confidence. Celie freed Shug from the role that everybody wanted her to fit into, and Shug freed Celie from the psychological bonds that were keeping her from making of her life what she wanted it to be, by being a mixture of friend, idol, lover, and teacher. Change happens for people who work for it. The Color Purple is more than just an American import. It’s a show that draws on the words, music and traditions of southern slavery in all its wrenching, transgressive vigour.
Racism and Sexism
Celie survived physically and spiritually, and she matured into a full, solid, modern twentieth-century woman. In fact, one of the central focuses of the book is on Celie’s mental and emotional rebirth. Hate and violence have almost killed Celie, but then she meets Shug, a woman who is able to kindle feelings of sexual love and self-love within Celie — for the first time. In a similar way, Celie becomes friends with her daughter-in-law, who teaches her by example what courage is. The strength of these women, and their caring for one another, offer opportunities for all three of them to continue growing — despite the racist, sexist world they live in. During the course of the book, they cry together, laugh together, affirm life together, and share one another’s joys. They respect one another. They live together in a world that Celie could never have imagined when she was fourteen; in fact, it is a world that she never could have imagined until, ironically, her husband brought home his ailing mistress. Never did Albert imagine the mental and physical sense of new health that Shug, his mistress, would bring to Celie. Because of Shug and because of Sofia, Celie is able to triumph — and triumph joyfully — over the sexual and racial oppression that smothered many of her female ancestors.
The Power of Voice and Narrative
She is largely uneducated; her letters to God are written in non-standard dialect. While this dialect may not be polished English, it is raw and honest — and strong. Celie’s letters are unusually strong; they are evidence of an unusual strength in a very young woman. They are evidence of Celie’s painful struggle to hold on — despite all of the multiple horrors of her life. Celie is about to go into adolescence, believing that she was raped by her father and that he killed both of their children. She writes to God because she has no one else to help her bear this terrible knowledge. What has happened to Celie is so terrible that she can talk about it only to someone who she feels loves her. Of course, her sister, Nettie, loves her, but Nettie is too young to understand what terrible things have happened to Celie. Only to God can Celie talk honestly and openly about the hell that she has suffered. It is very important to note Celie is not complaining to God. She simply needs to talk to someone — someone whom she loves and trusts and someone who she feels loves her.
Relationships and Transcendence
Celie’s instinct for survival, however, is more solid than even Celie realizes. She was born into a poor family; her mother was ill much of the time; there were too many children in the family; In addition to all this Celie was victimized by the man who she believed was her father. Celie feels used, and she feels that she is a victim, and she doesn’t understand why all this has happened to her. She doesn’t complain; she simply wonders why. In fact, so many bad things have happened to Celie that she feels worthless. She has very little self-worth and self-esteem. A proof of this is the fact that she doesn’t even sign her letters to God. Normally, most people take pride in signing their names; our name is one of the first things we learn to write. This is not true of Celie. Her self-worth is so miniscule that she does not even sign her own name. Slowly, Celie will mature into a woman of enormous confidence — but not before her beloved sister Nettie is taken from her and not before she herself is married to a cruel man who really wanted to marry Nettie.
For a time, Celie is more a slave to her husband than she is a wife. And then a near-miracle happens. Her husband’s mistress, Shug, comes to the house to recuperate and Celie becomes her nurse. By nature, Shug is a strong woman; men don’t tangle with Shug, unless she wants them to. Shug has a certain image in the novel. She fits the role of the seductive woman, the temptress, the devil. However, when she and Celie became friends, Shug opens herself up to Celie and show the sweet side of her nature. When she was with Celie, she could relax and be herself, the sweet, gentle, and caring woman which so few people knew about. She didn’t have to fit into the role that was expected of her; she could cuddle up to Celie, take care of her and be taken care of, she could be the mother or the child or both with absolute freedom. And Shug did love to cuddle. As Shug grows stronger physically, and as Celie nurses her, Shug encourages Celie to grow stronger psychologically.
Similarly, Celie’s daughter-in-law Sofia shows Celie how to stand up to men and how to stand up to prejudice and injustice — and fight. It isn’t easy for Celie to learn how to verbalize her independence, and it is harder still for her to act on these new concepts, but after she discovers how intentionally cruel her husband has been to her, she rebels and throws off her role as a slave to her husband. Her defining moment, the speech she gives to Mr. ______, contrasts sharply with her former silence. Celie’s assault on Mr. ______ releases years of pent-up emotion and hurt that had been silenced. Mr. ______ tries to counter by stripping Celie of her sense of self, as he has throughout the novel. He tells her that as a poor, black, and ugly woman, she is “nothing at all.” But Celie’s sense of self is strong enough that she is no longer a helpless object, so she resists Mr. ______’s proclamation, reinterpreting his words in a defiant context: “I’m pore, I’m black, I may be ugly and can’t cook, but I’m here.” The fact that Celie’s speech inspires Mr. ______ to reassess and rebuild his life shows that Celie’s attainment of self-respect has truly broken a cycle, not only liberating Celie, but others as well. An equally important component of Celie’s empowerment is her newfound economic independence.
Celie’s final letter shows the extent to which her character has developed through the course of the novel. Celie’s first letters simply related events without really attempting to understand or interpret them. Gradually, Celie began to make astute observations of others and to articulate and analyze her own feelings. In her final letters, Celie not only analyzes her own feelings, but she has the confidence and insight to articulate the feelings and motives of others. The novel ends with one such articulation, Celie’s comment that though her generation is growing older, the family reunion has made them feel younger than ever before. In this way, at the end of the novel, Celie acts as a voice not only for herself, but also for all the characters her age. The Color Purple, then, is a story about growth, endurance, loyalty, solidarity, and joy — all nurtured by the strength of love.
In conclusion, by the end of the novel, Celie’s new-found strength, as well as her ever-enduring love for Nettie, pays off. All through the years, she has kept the memory of Nettie alive, despite the fact that there was no proof that Nettie was alive. Nettie not only is alive, but she helped raise Celie’s two children, and when the book ends, Celie and Nettie and Celie’s two children, now grown, are reunited. Despite all the odds, Celie held on. She learned to fight, to stand up for herself, and she was rewarded. She never gave up on her love for Nettie, nor did she give up on her love for God. Celie survived physically and spiritually, and she matured into a full, solid, modern twentieth-century woman. In fact, one of the central focuses of the book is on Celie’s mental and emotional rebirth. Hate and violence have almost killed Celie, but then she meets Shug, a woman who is able to kindle feelings of sexual love and self-love within Celie — for the first time. In a similar way, Celie becomes friends with her daughter-in-law, who teaches her by example what courage is. The strength of these women, and their caring for one another, offer opportunities for all three of them to continue growing — despite the racist, sexist world they live in.
Dr. Derwin Campbell
May 11 2015
The Color Purple is more than just an American import. It’s a show that draws on the words, music and traditions of southern slavery in all its wrenching, transgressive vigour.
- Celie survived physically and spiritually, and she matured into a full, solid, modern twentieth-century woman.
Hate and violence have……………