The Color Purple is a novel based on the life of Celie whose personality traits include endurance and strength, unconditional love and a continuous quest for the truth. The endurance aspect is espoused from the belief she has in her own personal self. Though critical and self-questioning, she is able to connect with the others, at times the relationships are tenuous. The novel by Alice Walker boasts of a number of accolades, such as The National Book Award for Fiction and Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, in the year 1983, among other musical and film honors.
The setting is in the rural Georgia (U.S.A.), the work focuses on the narrative of Celie, aforementioned in early 20th Century, whose life espouses the numerous issues affecting the Black Americans in the racial social setting. Poor, uneducated and barely a teenager, the young woman undergoes a rape from her father (Alphonso), and thus, begins her writing of letters addressed to God. Traumatic further is the ‘presumable’ killing of an earlier child, with the second being abducted. Illness sadly kills Celie’s mother (Walker 23).
The above is further complicated by the fact that Celie loses contact with her only sister Nettie for thirty years. Presumably, Celie is to be married to an adult man, Mr. Johnson, who also happens to have a mistress, replaces Nettie. Nettie, fleeing from Mr. Johnson’s advances, is never able to communicate with her sister Celie. Through personal sacrifice and experience of abuse, no one knows whether she is able to espouse her love for others, especially those closest to her (family). She is ready to share the information on her present life with Shug Avery.
Through her letters to God, there is a questing whether Celie is able to maintain a sense of importance and have the trust, faith and courage to move forward. Never loosing memory of her younger sister, Celie is able to re-unite with not only Nettie, but also Olivia and Adam, her presumably dead two children. Through her love, and during the intimate moments with Shug, her husband’s recuperating mistress, she is able to faithfully wait for Shug’s return, which in the end pays off. Through her perception of Shug as being the embodiment of freedom from the abusive patriarchal system present, she is able to love and put faith in their friendship (Walker 34).
Due to poverty, from an early age Celie is denied basic education so that her younger sister Nettie can gain it, while she (Celie) tends and cares for their home. It is this early initiation to ‘home-making’ that is to profit Celie in her independent and successful adulthood later on. Through her inability to easily learn because of her emotional and physical abuse, she is however able to learn from experience, espousing care and love which later on bears fruit.
Through the recounting of her past, Celie is able to strengthen her faith, steadfastness, zeal and patience in the overall process, which sees her become successful in the end. Through the display of love and care, abate the circumstances present strengthened by her faith and trust, especially in her sister’s (Nettie) survival, Celie is able to reinvent herself. Through her early resolve at finding ways to defending herself from the unfair outcomes of the racial system, she is able to display herself through reasons and actions (Walker 57).
Through the care and love for Sofia, the ‘rebel’ in the social setup, she is able to understand, and therefore foster a greater relationship with the woman who espouses all the ideals of the ‘feminine freedoms and rights. The final reunion between the different characters and family relations present, time and destiny having wrapped their courses in an intertwined manner, espouses a feeling of independence, fulfillment, rebirth at both mental and emotional levels and positive interdependence.