The Black Womens Life English Literature Essay

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The Color Purple describes the life of the black people in the southern United States and a black woman---Celies life about how she lived and how she fought for herself in the end in the oppression of men at the 20th century, at the same time, it describes Celie and her sister Nettie's sisterhood.

Key words: Black people, black woman, life, fight for, oppression, sisterhood

The Color Purple is a 1985 American drama film directed by Steven Spielberg, based on the Pulitzer Prize- winning novel of the same name by Alice Walker. It filmed in Anson and Union Counties in North Carolina, the film tells the story of a young African American girl named Celie Harris and shows the problems African American women faced during the early 1900s, including poverty, racism and sexism. Celie is transformed as she finds her self-worth through the help of two strong female companions--- Shug Avery and Sofia. At the same time, it describes Celie and her sister Nettie's sisterhood. Firstly, young Celie lives a tragic live and she has no chance to go to school which reflects that girls have no status in the family and no right to education. Secondly, Celie's marriage is not happy, his husband---Albert treats Celie like a slave which reflects the sexism among the black. Thirdly, the black people's lives are filled with poverty and racism, for example, Celie wants to see her daughter in a shop and Sophia meets Miss Millie. Fourthly, black women fight for their rights and be independent. Finally, sisterhood is so strong and it's the thread to penetrate the whole film.

Young Celie lives a tragic life and she doesn't fight for herself. At the beginning of The Color Purple, there were many purple flowers all over the mountains and plains what attract me deeply. There were two black girls playing together and they were very happy. One of the two black girls was Celie and another was Nettie, they were sisters. In fact, Celie didn't have a happy life in her family. There was no love in her family, her father didn't like her, her father said, "Celie, you have a ugly smile in the world." In 1909, Celie was only fourteen, but she had already had two children by her father and her father took away her two children from her at childbirth. When Celie lived in the family, she always said, "Dear God…", she always asked the God for help, but she never wanted to fight for herself. After her stepfather got married again, he forced young Celie to marry a wealthy young local widower Albert Johnson. From then on, Celie lived her servile life as a wife.

Celie's marriage is not happy, his husband---Albert treats Celie like a slave which reflects the sexism among the black. Albert didn't love Celie, but he married with her because he needed a woman to take care of his children and him. In this family, Celie always asked Albert "Mister" which reflected the black woman didn't have status in the family, they just like a slave. Celie found that Albert had an old flame and they kept in touch with each other for many years, but she had no right to blame his husband. From Celie came to the family, her work was to clean Albert's disorderly household and take care of his unruly children. Albert often beat her, intimidating Celie into submission and near silence. One day, Celie's sister Nettie came to live with them, there was a period of happiness as the sisters spend time together and Nettie taught Celie how to read. But after Nettie refused Albert's predatory affections once too often, Albert kicked Nettie out. Then, the film reflected that the black woman had no right to decide the family things, they must listen to their husbands instead. After Nettie left, Celie went on with her servile life.

The black people's lives are filled with poverty and racism. Before Celie married with Albert, she once went to a shop to see her daughter; the shop owner disliked her because she is black and poor. This film described the life of the black; the black children were in rags. In Celie's life, a fat but confidence woman came to her life; she is Sofia who married Albert's son Harpo. Sofia had also suffered abuse from the men in her family, but she never tolerated it and she spent her all life to fight with her father and brothers. When she met the town mayor's wife Miss Millie, she thought the black woman could be a servant which annoyed Sofia so that Sofia was rude to Miss Millie and she was beaten and jailed. At that time, the black were always discriminated no matter how they revolted.

Black women fight for their rights and are independent. In this film, there were three strong women fought for their rights, the heroine Celie, the jazz singer Shug Avery and Sofia. Shug Avery was an independent woman; she was a popular jazz singer. Almost every man was attracted by her beauty, songs and her independence deeply. During the time Shug lived with Celie and Albert, Shug and Celie eventually became close friends and Shug helped Celie raise her self-confidence. Shug gave Celie a new feeling; she dressed Celie, taught her to dance and smile without cover. Sofia was Albert' son Harpo's wife, she was a confident woman, she never tolerated the sexism. When Harpo beat Sofia, she resolutely got a divorce. Celie tolerated sexism in her most life, she found strength in Shug, Sofia and her sister Nettie. Shug taught Celie to be confident and Sofia used her actions to teach Celie not to tolerate the sexism. At the same time, reconnecting with her sister and the assurance that she was still alive helped give Celie the strength to stand up to Albert. During a family dinner, Celie almost slit Albert's throat while shaving him, but she was stopped by Shug. At last, Celie left Albert to Tennessee, she opened a haberdashery selling "one size fits all" slacks. Upon the death of her father, she had inherited a house and shop from her real father. She opened her second slacks shop next to her home named Miss Celie's Folks Pants. Celie was independent and new. Women should have their own career and fight for their own rights.

Sisterhood is so strong and it will be forever. Celie and Nettie's sisterhood was the most impressive plot in this film. Their sisterhood was the thread to penetrate the whole film. When Albert kicked Nettie out, Nettie said, "Only death can leave me from here." over and over. Nettie kept writing to Celie all those years, but Celie found these letters at last which made Celie outburst. In the end, Celie and Nettie got together again in the purple flower ocean. No matter what circumstance we live, sisterhood is strong and could be forever.

In brief, after analyzing The Color Purple, we can easily draw the conclusion that the black women lived a hard life in the southern United States from the early 1900s to the late 1940s, how they realized to fight for themselves and how they fought. Women should be confident and independent so that we will have our own rights to live in the world.


The Color Purple is a 1985 American period drama film directed by Steven Spielberg, based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name by Alice Walker. It was Spielberg's eighth film as a director, and was a change from the summer blockbusters for which he had become famous. The film starred Danny Glover, Desreta Jackson, Margaret Avery, Oprah Winfrey, Adolph Caesar, Tae Dawn Chong, and introducing Whoopi Gold berg as Celie Harris.

Sisterhood is the thread to penetrate the whole film.

Alice Malsenior Walker (born February 9, 1944) is an American author, poet, and activist. She has written both fiction and essays about race and gender.


English movie "The Color Purple" at

Comments on media and psychological interpretation of the theme of The Color Purple at

The writer Alice Malsenior Walker's brief introduction at