The Color Purple Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 81 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Color Purple.
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Sexual relations between men and women in The Color Purple is a major theme. Alice Walker sets her story of Celie's transformation from a passive female to an independent woman within the culture of southern black rural society from the 1920s to the 1940s. In the beginning of the story, Celie is dominated first by her father, whom she later learns is really her stepfather, then by her husband, Albert (Mr.). The catalyst for the character change in Celie is the relationship she develops with Shug Avery, her husband Albert's mistress. Because Celie has been warned by her stepfather, Alphonso, not to tell anyone but God about how he repeatedly rapes her, she begins to write letters to God. It is through the letters that the reader develops a sense of Celie's being, which at first is self-effacing, but eventually becomes strong and independent.

In the novel there...

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This section contains 776 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
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Novels for Students
The Color Purple from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.