‘The Color purple'
In what ways Celie's characters develop in the in the ‘The Color Purple', and what are the influences on her which causes her to change?
The novel ‘The Color Purple' was written by Alice Walker and set in the 1930's. In this essay I will be analyzing the influences that caused Celie's character to change from being vulnerable to a confident character. I will need to review the three letters from the novel written by Celie. Letter one is at the beginning of the novel, letter two is in the centre and letter three is at the end of the novel.
I will be firstly discussing letter 1 which Celie sent to God. Initially, Celie's letter shows poor standard and weakness in her English. This is proven by her weaknesses throughout the letter. On the other hand, the letter defines that she is struggling, but capably still holding onto her life, although she is facing many difficulties.
In the novel Celie is the protagonist. Celie is a deprived, uneducated young black woman, with a miserable history. After she was raped by her father, she supposes that her children were taken away and ‘Kilt it out there in the woods'. She assumes that God was the only one to help her from a dreadful devastation she faced in the past. However, she is vulnerable because she is frightened to tell her mother about the assaults by her father. This indicates that she didn't have the strength to fight back.
In letter one, as Celie does not know how to spell correctly, she therefore spells phonetically as shown by the above quote ‘kilt' and what she is genuinely tries to say is killed. In Celie's first letter, as she was uneducated, her grammar, spellings and limited vocabulary were evident and they were frequent usage of simple sentences. Her mother lay on her death bed constantly harassing Celie saying she was feeble, ‘She cuss me. I'm big. I can't move fast enough'. She uses short and simple sentences. She also uses repetition of words, as her vocabulary is limited, such as ‘He' and ‘Git'. She uses incorrect spellings, such as, ‘She ast', ‘I git', ‘She cuss' and etc. She uses phonetic spellings throughout the letter because she has had no formal education and spells words how they sound. Another sign of her fragile character is shown through her reference to men, ‘Mr' and ‘He'. She does not call her husband by his name and calls her father ‘he' because she is petrified of what they will do to her.
Celie develops and improves her English from letter one to two considering more use of words, progresses in spellings and moves to compound sentences.
The second letter is written by Celie to Nettie. Shug helps Celie to find the letters from Nettie which brings Celie's hopes up. In letter two Celie appears to be confident and less vulnerable then she was initially. Shug was the main character who helped Celie gain all this confidence, although she was mistress to Celie's husband. While Shug was growing stronger after she was ill, she encouraged and gave support to Celie to grow stronger mentally. On the other hand, Celie got examples of how to stand up to men from her daughter in law Sofia. When she finds out the truth about Albert hiding her sisters letters she gains the confidence to stand up to Mr, ‘You heard me, I say. Any more letters from Nettie come?'. She gave herself pride for standing for herself because she did something that she never thought of doing since she was married to Mr.
From looking at letter one Celie's language has improved from the way she spelt her words and her vocabulary has varied. In letter two she is able to write longer sentences with more knowledge capably, ‘You heard me, I say. Any more letters from Nettie'. She is now able write her sentences correctly which she wasn't able to in her letter one. Although her writing has improved, she is still unable to spell all the words correctly. She spelt ‘git' incorrectly, but in letter two she spelt it correctly as ‘get'. The word ‘ast' was meant to be changed to ‘ask', but remains the same. These are the features of her voice and African American dialect. Celie was angry about Albert hiding her letter because he was breaking up the spiritual connection between Celie and Nettie. She refers to her husband as ‘old devil' with some guts after she has not forgotten the humiliation and criticized. Celie has forgiven him and Albert is sorry after she left him.
The third letter is written to every thing in the whole world. In letter three she appears to be more confident then she was in the previous letters mentioned. Celie's pronunciations of words are superior now. She uses repetition, ‘when you look at Shug's eyes you know she been where she been, seen what she seen, did what she did'. This shows that Celie looked up at Shug as a strong woman who's there whenever she needs her. This quotation suggests that Celie is now able to spell well, use punctuation and is capable of writing longer sentences. At the end, she has gained so much confidence that she was even able to stand up to her own husband Mr and have discussions with him, ‘yeah, he say. She feels I am her brother'. Finally, Celie has gained all the confidence to live independent, comfortable and not a miserable life.
Finally, I can conclude, at the beginning of the novel you can see that Celie as a character was very vulnerable. As the novel continues, since she meets Shug, she becomes a stronger character. The company that Celie shares with Shug's gives Celie comfort and increases her confidence, therefore making Celie a stronger character. Also the fact that she finds out that Nettie is alive, as well as her children, gives her hope and strength. The author chose to write the letter form as it makes I more of an impact and making it personal. Alice Walker has structured her novel in letter form to give an enhanced understanding of Celie problems and the event that has happened to her. I think Celie is a strong person that will stand up to anyone who would intend to bring harm to her. Alice tries to show the reader feeling, emotions and the way Celie is struggling in life.