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The Color Purple is a classic With over a million copies sold in the UK alone it is hailed as one of the all time 'greats' of literature inspiring generations of readersSet in the deep American South between the wars it is the tale of Celie a young black girl born into poverty and segregation Raped repeatedly by the man she calls 'father' she has two children taken away from her is separated from her beloved sister Nettie and is trapped into an ugly marriage But then she meets the glamorous Shug Avery singer and magic maker a woman who has taken charge of her own destiny Gradually Celie discovers the power and joy of her own spirit freeing her from her past and reuniting her with those she loves


10 thoughts on “The Color Purple

  1. says:

    I give this book 5 stars to spite the myopic David Gilmours and the VS Naipauls of the world who think books written by women are irrelevant I give this 5 stars to make up for the many 123 star ratings it may receive simply because of Alice Walker's forthright honest portrayal of unpleasant truths that are often conveniently shoved under the carpet so as not to disturb the carefully preserved but brittle structure of dogma and century old misconceptions And I award this 5 stars symbolically on Banned Books Week as an apology for all the cowardly sentiments of the ones who misuse their power by banning books thereby shutting out many powerful voices which demand and need to be heardIn my eyes an author's merit lies not only in their sense of aesthetic beauty but also in the scope and reach of their worldviews which must reflect in their craftAlice Walker's is the voice of one such African American writer that recounts a story which not only breaches the boundaries of an issue like emancipation of women but tries to detect a common pattern in problems plaguing civilizations across continents She gives us one horrifying glimpse after another into the lives of women ravaged by unspeakable brutalities like rape and abuse lives searching for meaning and connection and seeking out that elusive ray of hope amidst the darkness of despair And by the end of the narrative she brings to light with great sensitivity that misogyny sexism and blind patriarchal prejudices are as rampantly in vogue in the urban upscale sphere of American cities as they are in the intractable untameable African landscapesCelie and Nettie Shug Avery Sofia and Mary Agnes Tashi and Olivia All these are but different names and many facets of the same disturbing realityIf the lives of Celie and Nettie are torn apart by sexual abuse and humiliation from childhood then Tashi and other unnamed young African girls of the Olinka tribe are victims of genital mutilation and other forms of psychological and physical tortureIf the men of African American families dehumanize the female members to the point of treating them as mere care givers and sex slaves then the objectification of African women by the men of their families is no less appalling And contrary to accepted beliefs white families in America are just as easily susceptible to misogyny as the African American families areBut Alice Walker doesn't only stop at opening our eyes to the uncivilized aspects of our so called civilized world but also shows us how knowledge of the world and people at large self awareness and education can help exorcize such social evils how it is never too late to gain a fresh perspective start anew and how empowerment of women eventually empowers societyDear David Gilmour if I were a professor of English literature I'd have taught Alice Walker to my students without a shred of hesitation because here's an author who may not possess the trademark sophistication of Virginia Woolf's lyrical prose but who nonetheless fearlessly broaches subjects many masters and mistresses of the craft may balk at dealing withAlice Walker 5 | David Gilmour 0


  2. says:

    I read The Colour Purple in my early teens was traumatized by the graphic abuse portrayed and vowed to never read it again I was curious about why so many of my GR friends rated it so highly and was eventually convinced to give it another goYears after my first read I still of course have the same visceral reaction to the abuse but that no longer blinds me from seeing the magnificence of Alice Walker’s storytelling and how she brings her characters to lifeCelie is the protagonist of the tale Her story is told through a series of letters written firstly to God and then to her sister Nettie As an abused uneducated woman abused by her father husband and step children who was only ever shown love by Nettie the letters are very telling and are the only means Celie has of expressing her feelings I adored Celie It really amazed me how a woman who was abused so much sexually physically verbally could still have so much love in her heart and not be bitter Imagine hearing things like this regularly Husband to Celie – “Who you think you is? You can’t curse nobody Look at you You black you pore you ugly you a woman Goddam he say you nothing at all” But Celie is something and one of my favourite parts of this book is the sisterhood portrayed especially by the enigmatic Shug who helped Celie on her journey to self realization The book has strong female characters which is another plus I’m so glad I gave this book a second chance Celie is a wonderful character and proof of the resilience of the human spirit “I think us here to wonder myself To wonder To ask And that in wondering bout the big things and asking bout the big things you learn about the little ones almost by accident But you never know nothing about the big things than you start out with The I wonder the I love”


  3. says:

    Wow I mean Really WowYou know how there are some books and their words wrap around you like a comforting blanket? WellThis Is Not OneThe Color Purple rips the clothes right off of your skin leaving you bare and vulnerable From the first freakin' moment opening the page You are just THERE and you can't be anywhere else but THERE Even when you're notWowHave you seen the movie? I had I thought I was prepared Because the movie was devastating I remember vividly being in the house that me and a couple of college friends rented sitting there in the dark all of us sitting on our furniture chain smoking drinking wine and crying The movie didn't prepare meWalker's words are music Sometimes a sweet melody but mostly a cacophony of pain and sorrow Oh and how the characters change and grow with time how they eventually find peace And the dichotomy of the South and Africa? It makes me yearn to find pieces of literature that can show me the mysteries of that continentI am incoherent and refuse to speak of the summary It's The Color Purple It doesn't need a summaryIt is aliveIt is life


  4. says:

    Who you think you is? he say You can't curse nobody Look at you You black you pore you ugly you a woman Goddam he say you nothing at all And yet she is one of the strongest characters I have ever met in literature Long before women began speaking up about their different experiences in the #metoo movement Alice Walker's Celie and her sisters resist the violence and power of the men around them and go on living through the pain and frustration only to find life worth fighting for in the end Rarely these days do I finish a book within one sitting but this novel was impossible to put down In a voice genuinely her own Celie begins to tell her story of rape loss and forced marriage Her loneliness is so painful that she can't even think of a recipient for her letters except for God which she imagines to be an older white man the very symbol of patriarchal power Wherever her life takes her she is surrounded by men who are taught from the cradle to mistreat and look down on women in order to establish their own fragile egos While they claim to be the stronger sex they leave it to their mothers sisters daughters and wives to make a living to work for food and shelter and educationCelie's world based on submission changes when she encounters two women who refuse to bow their heads who fight for their right to individual pride and happiness In Shug her lover and Sofia her neighbour she sees the true colour of female power the purple of ueens A mix of the passionately hot blood red colour of happiness and the deeply painful and dark blue purple is the essence of nature the expression of the divine principle of life beyond the Christian God of the bible who is mainly catering to the white male authority that makes women sufferThe day Celie discovers that her long lost sister is still alive she can finally drop the patriarchal god figure as a recipient of her letters written to reflect on the painful expeirence of her life and share her thoughts with somebody she loves truly and unconditionally Dear Nettie a moment of triumph caught in writingLife is not only red happiness or blue sadness it is purpleTherefore Celie's lover Shug is convinced that God is pissed whenever someone ignores the beauty of the colour purple in nature whereas he is completely absent from churchFinding spiritual support within the loving human heart is at the centre of this powerful hymn to women across the world and while telling the story of Nettie and Celie of Sofia and Shug it approaches the difficult political topics of misogyny repressed sexuality colonialism missionary endeavours racism domestic violence and povertyRarely have I felt a colour expressing itself so strongly in emotionsDespite the terrible circumstances of life in the Deep South in the 1930s and 1940s it is a book about the joy of living Confronted with the hatred of the man she is about to leave to embark on her first attempt at independent life Celie answersI am pore I'm black I may be ugly and can't cook a voice say to everything listening But I'm hereAnd the message Alice Walker sends out to people across the world is a positive one men and women can define their own roles they can develop and learn and change for the better Gender roles are not static and there are moments of peace and friendship for anyone who dares to move out of the pattern of dominance that destroys the freedom of choice for both men and womenRecommended to the world over and over


  5. says:

    The Color Purple is an absolute masterpiece about love and redemption Shug Celie Sofia and Nellie are some of the strongest women characters in American fiction I am literally writing this with tears streaming down my cheeksThere is so much to unpack here as Alice Walker deals holistically with the fate of African Americans from the perspective of Africa and the tribes who sold their kinsman to white slavers the devastation of Africa by European colonizers particularly after WWI leading to WWII the violence of in the South particularly aimed towards women female sexualityThere is an infinite depth in this book that can reveal itself and with each successive read The first half of the story is told through letters to God by Celia who is married against her will to Mr We learn that his first name is Albert but we never learn his last name Perhaps this anonymity is symbolic of the widespread rape and spousal abuse in impoverished communities and yet we also see that in the white mayor's family through her sister in law Sofia's eyes is no sane and no less violent Celia was raped by her stepfather and bore two children that subseuently disappeared Her sister refuses Mr in marriage and leaves and thus Celia is given to him Sex for her is a burden and a torture without end You know the worst part? she say The worst part is I don't think he notice He git up there and enjoy himself just the same No matter what I'm thinking No matter what I feel It just him Heartfeeling don't seem to enter into it She snort The fact he can do it like that make me want to kill him p 65 In fact Albert loves the singer Shug who ailing comes to their house and incidentally name drops legendary blues singer Bessie Smith as a friend thus dating the story to the 30s As Celie nurses Shug back to healththe two women develop a deep lasting love for each other that is both physical and spiritual and the first love that Celia has ever felt from another person She say my name again She say this song I'm bout to sing is call Miss Celie's song Cause she scratched it out of my head when I was sickFirst time somebody made something and name it after me p 73 This is one of the first moments where having a box of Kleenex handy is not a luxury Through Shug Celie learns about her body and that she can have pleasure via her breasts and her sex p 78 The book has many characters that transform completely during the book Mr for example will be cursed by Celie when she leaves finally but he will change completely into a tender hearted and remorseful man who accepts his wife's sexuality such as it is and she in turn is able to forgive him In fact at the end of the book there is a beautiful reunion which is somewhat prefigured back on p 57 First time I think about the world What the world got to do with anything I think Then I see myself sitting there uilting tween Shug Avery and Mr Us three together gainst Tobias and his fly speck box of chocolate For the first time in my life I feel just right She and Shug have a spiritual transformation as well evolving from the white borrowed religion of a white God which has born no good for Celie Yeah I say and he give me a lynched daddy a crazy mama a lowdown dog of a step pa and a sister I probably won't ever see again Anyhow I say the God I been praying and writing to is a man And act just like all the other mens I know Trifling forgitful and lowdown p 192 Shug expresses her beliefs this The thing I believe God is inside you and inside everybody else You come into the world with God But only them that search for it inside find it And sometimes it just manifest itself even if you not looking or don't know what you looking for Trouble do it for most folks I think Sorrow lord Feeling like shitIt? I astYeah It God ain't a he or a she but a It p 195 The next two pages are a beautiful eloge to this form or Emersonian deism a powerful arugment for a personal and less judgmental religion Yes Celie she say Everything want to be loved Us sing and dance make faces and give flower bouuets trying to be loved You ever notice that trees to everything to git attention that we do except walk? p 196 I was touched by this ecological message that reminded me of the comments on this that I made in my reviews of The Overstory and The Lord of the Rings From this point on she addresses her letters directly to NellieThe letters written back to Celie from her sister Nettie are hidden for years by a pre repentant Mr In this letters we learn of Nettie's voyage to Africa as a missionary Nellie also has a spiritual transformation as she sees European Christianity's utter disregard for villagers and their traditions with the complete destruction and near elimination of the Olinka culture that she traveled to Africa to help There is just so much depth in this masterpiece that I will stop my review here and just urge you beg you to read this book if you have never done so It is a rare raw look at humanity and suffering but with a powerful compelling message of redemption and hope


  6. says:

    Before I get into this review I should let you know that the ONLY thing I knew about The Color Purple is that it was a movie in the 80s I knew nothing about the plot or subject matter – except for a few impressions of seeing Oprah and Whoopi in promotional stills or videos over the years Also I try to avoid reading book summaries unless absolutely necessary as I feel they often give too much away I felt it was important to say this because as I have posted statuses and comments while I was reading it I felt like there was some shock that I didn’t know about it already So now how I was going into this book is all out on the tableWith that being said this book was 100% not what I was expecting This is not a good thing or a bad thing It is just if you asked me to give a one paragraph description of what I was going to be reading about I would have written down nothing nowhere hear this I probably would have said something like “ex slaves trying to survive in the post Civil War South” Well spoiler that is not what it is aboutI will next mention a phrase that kept going through my head as I was trying to prepare to write my review I kept saying to myself that “I am not sure I can should or have any right to write a review of this book” It is a powerful and raw story about subject matter that is important and that I don’t really know a whole lot about Because of that I cannot say for sure how I can possibly do a review justice I decided that while I will do this review it is important to remember that this book transcends any possible viewpoint I have of itOne thing that I came out of this book surprised about is that it is about women women’s rights and female relationships than it is about race Don’t get me wrong race is an important element but the way that the men view and treat women and the way the women look at and treat themselves is the crux of this story As mentioned above this book is raw – not too extreme – but raw enough to warn readers that some of the subject matter is difficult and it may stir up strong emotions especially if you are a womanWhile I found the book to be powerful and important I am going with 4 stars because I struggled at times with the writing I admit that this is just my preference and is all on me Some of you may love the way it is written but I found that it was the reason I found myself taking long breaks from the bookThis book is important to read for any person trying to make sure they hit all the classics Also people with an interest in historical fiction and women’s studies would benefit a lot from this story


  7. says:

    ”You got to fight But I don’t know how to fight All I know how to do is stay alive”When I think about “The Color Purple” the first few words that pop into my mind are classic banned and touchy subjects I’m pretty sure I’m not alone with that I mean it’s a book every reader heard about Some of us had to read it in school others saw the movie and still others only knew that it’s one of those highly controversial books I belonged to the latter category and even though I read a few reviews about it I definitely wasn’t prepared for what I was about to read ”I feel like something pushing me forward If I don’t watch out I’ll have hold of her hand tasting her fingers in my mouth”This book surprised me but not in the way I thought it would I expected abuse in a man’s world the suppression of women and yes even rape because my bestie warned me about that one a few years ago What everyone forgot to mention was that this is also a story about strong women and two sisters that write each other for years One of them is living with a violent husband and the other lives in a colony in Africa and deals with completely different problems than her sister overseas To follow their lives was very intriguing and I enjoyed Nettie’s letters from Africa a lot It was interesting to read how she lived and how the native people dealt with the missionaries that came to them ”Who you think you is? he say You can’t curse nobody Look at you You black you pore you ugly you a woman Goddam he say you nothing at all”Celie however had to deal with an entirely different set of problems though and I can’t say how much I despised Mr for his behaviour He’s your typical run of the mill obnoxious and violent husband and I just couldn’t deal with him If I’d have been Celie I would have left him as soon as possible But where to go if you’re a penniless woman without any family ties? Well Celie certainly found her own way to deal with him and I’m very proud of her for standing up to him It took time and courage but she eventually managed to do it What load of bricks fell on you? I astNo bricks he say Just experience You know everybody bound to git some of that sooner or later All they have to do is stay alive And I start to git mine real heavy long about the time I told Shug it was true that I beat you cause you was you and not her”A very important part of this book which was never mentioned in any of the reviews I read is the fact that there is a ff relationship in “The Color Purple” Yes you read right A ff relationship between a lesbian and a bisexual woman At least I got the impression it’s a lesbianbi relationship Which aside from the violence and abuse is probably one of the main reasons this book is banned in so many countries and schools In my opinion Walker made sure never to explicitly touch the subject but from the little you see you can glean that they are in love with each other and have a sexual relationship I know some people claim that there is graphic sexual content but either I read too much smut in my life pretty likely lol or I have a different concept of graphic than the average person also very likely due to all of the smut ; P ”He love looking at Shug I love looking at ShugBut Shug don’t love looking at but one of us HimBut that the way it spose to be I know that But if that so why my heart hurt me so?”If this would have been a modern book I would have been very unhappy with the bisexual rep but since it’s an old one I decided to take it the way it is No need to rant about it when I know that people had a completely different outlook on bisexuality back then Let’s just say I didn’t like that the bi character was represented as a rogue that only thinks with her loins lolConclusion“The Color Purple” addresses a lot of sensitive issues and considering in which time it was written this was a pretty bold move Walker doesn’t shy away from bringing up difficult topics though and instead decided to introduce us into the life of a huge family that works in its own way It’s complex it’s multi layered and at times it’s tough to read but if that’s your jam I can totally recommend this book to you ; ”I believe God is everything say Shug Everything that is or ever was or ever will be And when you can feel that and be happy to feel that you’ve found It”I’m not entirely sure if it’s a good idea to read “The Color Purple” while reading “The Poppy War” as well but I put them both on my book list 2019 and will have to return the latter one to the library soon So I guess if it gets too heavy I’ll just have to read a very fluffy and comfortable book in between XD eyes Carry On and Harry Potter Yes I actually dare to mention them both in one sentence lol ; PI know this book will address a lot of sensitive issues so I’m sort of prepared Well at least as good as you can prepare yourself for classics like this oneAll I know is that I was destroyed after reading “The Kite Runner” Let’s hope the same won’t happen with “The Color Purple”


  8. says:

    The Color Purple Alice WalkerThe Color Purple is a 1982 epistolary novel by American author Alice Walker which won the 1983 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the National Book Award for Fiction It was later adapted into a film and musical of the same name Taking place mostly in rural Georgia the story focuses on the life of African American women in the Southern United States in the 1930s addressing numerous issues including their exceedingly low position in American social culture Celie is a poor uneducated 14 year old girl living in the American South in the early 1900s She writes letters to God because her stepfather Alphonso beats her harshly and rapes her continuously Alphonso has already impregnated Celie once a pregnancy that resulted in the birth of a boy she named Adam Alphonso takes the baby away shortly after his birth Celie has a second child a girl she named Olivia whom Alphonso also abducts Celie's ailing mother dies after cursing Celie on her deathbed Celie and her younger sister 12 year old Nettie learn that a man identified only as Mister wants to marry Nettie Alphonso refuses to let Nettie marry instead arranging for Mister to marry Celie Mister needing someone to care for his children and keep his house eventually accepts the offer Mister and his children whose mother was murdered by a jealous lover all treat Celie badly However she eventually gets Mister's sualid living conditions and incorrigible children under control Shortly thereafter Nettie runs away from Alphonso and takes refuge at Celie's house where Mister makes sexual advances toward her Celie then advises Nettie to seek assistance from a well dressed black woman that she had seen in the general store a while back; the woman had unknowingly adopted Celie's daughter and was the only black woman that Celie had ever seen with money of her own Nettie is forced to leave after promising to write Celie however never receives any letters and concludes that her sister is dead Shortly thereafter Nettie runs away from Alphonso and takes refuge at Celie's house where Mister makes sexual advances toward her Celie then advises Nettie to seek assistance from a well dressed black woman that she had seen in the general store a while back; the woman had unknowingly adopted Celie's daughter and was the only black woman that Celie had ever seen with money of her own Nettie is forced to leave after promising to write Celie however never receives any letters and concludes that her sister is dead تاریخ نخستین خوانش بیست و یکم ماه نوامبر سال 2010 میلادیعنوان به رنگ ارغوان؛ نویسنده آلیس واکر؛ مترجم امیرحسین مهدیزاده؛ تهران، نشر نی، 1388، در 306 ص؛ شابک 9789641851288؛ موضوع داستانهای نویسندگان امریکایی سده 20 ماین نویسنده میگوید جهالت بزرگترین دشمن ماست وی میافزاید فکر میکنم «رنگ بنفش» با عشق در ارتباط است، ما نیاز به ارتباط داریمخلاصه داستان «سِلی جکسن»، دختر نوجوان سیاه‌پوستی است، که پدرش فرزندان او را به خانواده «ساموئل‌»ها می‌فروشد خود او را نیز به «آلبرت‌ جانسن گلاور»، مرد سیاه‌پوست بیوه‌ ای واگذار می‌کنند، که در پی خواهرِ «سلی»، «نتی بوسیا» بوده است او با وجود آزار و اذیت مدام «آلبرت» و فرزندانش، سعی می‌کند همسر مطیعی باشد «نتی» از خانه ی پدر فرار می‌کند، و نزد «سلی» می‌آید اما «آلبرت» او را بیرون می‌کند «نتی» قول می‌دهد، برای «سلی» نامه بنویسد، ولی هیچ‌گاه نامه‌ ای به دستش نمی‌رسد ه«ارپو پو»، پسر «آلبرت»، برخلاف رأی پدر، با دختری چاق و سرکش، به‌ نام «سوفیا وینفری» ازدواج می‌کند، و وقتی «هارپو» بنا به توصیه ی پدر، او را کتک می‌زند، در مقابلش می‌ایستد «هارپو» همچنان به زورگوئی‌های خویش ادامه می‌دهد، تا اینکه «سوفیا» او را ترک می‌کند، و بچه‌ هایش را هم با خود می‌برد در همین حین «شاگ ایوری» خواننده و محبوبه ی «آلبرت»، برای دیدن آنان می‌آید «هارپو» خانه‌ اش را به کافه تبدیل می‌کند، و «شاگ» نیز در آنجا برنامه اجرا می‌کند «سوفیا» با محبوب جدیدش، «باستر تیلیس» باز می‌گردد، و کافه را به هم می‌ریزد «شاگ» به «سلی گلدبرگ» می‌قبولاند، که آن‌طور هم که فکر می‌کرده، زشت نیست، و عشق و محبت بین زنان را به او می‌آموزد اما خودش مجبور می‌شود به خاطر پدرش که واعظ محلی آنجاست، کافه را ترک کند، و به ممفیس برود «سوفیا» نیز به خاطر جواب رد دادن به یک زن سفیدپوست، که از او می‌خواهد خدمتکارش باشد، به زندان می‌افتد «سوفیا»ی درمانده، مجبور می‌شود در خانه ی یک زن سفیدپوست، خدمتکاری کند «شاگ» با همسر جدیدش، «گریدی گیلوری» بازمی‌گردد و پی می‌برد که «آلبرت» در تمام این سال‌ها، نامه‌ هائی را که «نتی» برای «سلی» فرستاده، پنهان کرده است «نتی» در نامه‌ ها نوشته که همراه با «ساموئل‌ها»، و فرزندان «سلی»، «آدام» و «آلیویا»، به‌عنوان مبلّغ مذهبی، در آفریقا زندگی می‌کند «سلی» به ممفیس می‌رود «آلبرتِ» پیر و تنها، به رابطه ی «سوفیا» و «هارپو» حسادت می‌کند «سلی» که خانه ی مادریش را از مردی که فکر می‌کرد پدرش است در حالی که ناپدری‌ اش بوده به ارث برده، تبدیل به فروشگاه لباس می‌کند ا شربیانی


  9. says:

    In awe of the magnificent depths within The Color Purple Would rather debunk Great American Novel contenders such as Great Gatsby On the Road or Huckleberry Finn with this Definitive American classic novel The steel strong bonds of family the global importance of friendship and the ever mystical soul defining actions of sisterhood are all immortal themes that are drawn in lush exuisite sometimes brutal hues the purple of a field of violets the purple of a deepening bruise In terms of the epistolary novel my personal faves include Dracula Where'd You Go Bernadette now this one the frailty of letters and the lost art of letter writing carry implicit feelings They ground the novel and contradiction make it an ethereal work of art The writer is a true magician that even out Faulkners Faulkner in her book filled with light and gracePS the film tries its damn hardest to keep up with Walker's uniue characters and their respective vernacular For me the line uttered by Adam at the end of the movie I want to know you mama never fails to make me bawl


  10. says:

    “I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don't notice it”455 starsThe colour purple was devastating from page one I started reading this without knowing much about it I knew it had a POC main character heard that it was about women's rights and about abuse I heard it was a great book But I still did not expect thisThe main character's life is miserable I still don't understand how she made it through to a certain point because if it were me in her skin I probably wouldn't have been able to stay in that skin for longIt was not an easy book neither plot nor writing were exactly motivating But I found so much hope in the first and even happiness in the last chapters that I just came to love itFind of my books on Instagram