God and Spirituality Themes and Colors LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in The Color Purple, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work.
Plot summary[ edit ] Celie is a poor, uneducated year-old girl living in the American South in The colour purple theme early s. She writes letters to God because her father, Alphonso, beats and rapes her constantly. Alphonso has already impregnated Celie once, a pregnancy that resulted in the birth of a boy she named Adam, but Alphonso took the baby away shortly after his birth.
Celie then has a second child, a girl she names Olivia whom Alphonso also abducts.
Meanwhile, Celie's ailing mother dies after cursing Celie on her deathbed. Celie and her younger sister, 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, a widower needing someone to care for his children and keep his house, eventually accepts the offer.
Mister physically, sexually, and verbally abuses Celie, and all his children treat her badly as well. However, she eventually gets Mister's squalid 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 saw in the general store a while back; the woman has unknowingly adopted Olivia 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.
Time passes and Harpo, Mister's son, falls in love with an assertive girl named Sofia, who becomes pregnant with Harpo's baby and, despite initial resistance from Mister, marries Harpo. Harpo and Sofia have five more children in short order. Celie is amazed by Sofia's defiant refusal to submit to Harpo's attempts to control her.
Kinder and gentler than his father, Celie advises Harpo not to try to dominate Sofia. Harpo temporarily follows Celie's advice but falls back under Mister's sway. Celie, momentarily jealous of Harpo's genuine love of Sofia, then advises Harpo to beat her.
Sofia fights back, however, and confronts Celie. A guilty Celie apologizes and confides in Sofia about all the abuse she suffers at Mister's hands.
She also begins to consider Sofia's advice about defending herself against further abuse from Mister. Glamorous Shug Avery, a jazz and blues singer and Mister's long-time mistress, falls ill, and Mister takes her into his house.
Celie, who has been fascinated by photos of Shug she found in Mister's belongings, is thrilled to have her there.
Mister's father expresses disapproval of the arrangement, reminding Mister that Shug has three out-of-wedlock children, though Mister indirectly implies to him that he is those children's father. Mister's father then leaves in disgust.
While Shug is initially rude to Celie, who has taken charge of nursing her, the two women become friends, and Celie soon finds herself infatuated with Shug. Frustrated by Harpo's domineering behavior, Sofia moves out, taking her children with her.
Several months later, Harpo opens a juke joint where a fully recovered Shug performs nightly. Shug decides to stay when she learns that Mister beats Celie when she is away. Shug and Celie's friendship grows closer. Sofia returns for a visit and promptly gets into a fight with Harpo's new girlfriend, Squeak, knocking Squeak's teeth out.
In town one day, while Sofia is enjoying a day out with her new boyfriend, a prizefighter, and their respective children, she gets into a physical fight with the mayor after his wife, Miss Millie, insults Sofia and her children. The police arrive and brutally beat Sofia, leaving her with a cracked skull, broken ribs, her face rendered nearly unrecognizable, and blind in one eye.
She is subsequently sentenced to 12 years in jail. Squeak, a mixed-race woman and Sheriff Hodges' illegitimate niece, attempts to blackmail the sheriff into releasing Sofia, resulting in her being raped by her uncle. Squeak cares for Sofia's children while she is incarcerated, and the two women develop a friendship.The Color Purple is a American coming-of-age period drama film directed by Steven Spielberg and written by Menno Meyjes, 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.
Discussion of themes and motifs in Alice Walker's The Color Purple. eNotes critical analyses help you gain a deeper understanding of The Color Purple so you can excel on your essay or test. LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in The Color Purple, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work.
God and Spirituality The first words written by Celie, the novel's protagonist, are "Dear God," and the novel ends with a letter, the salutation of which reads, "Dear God. The Color Purple has a lot to say about race in America. At the beginning of the novel, Celie is extremely downtrodden—almost to the point of being defeated.
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Discussion of themes and motifs in Alice Walker's The Color Purple. eNotes critical analyses help you gain a deeper understanding of The Color Purple so you can excel on your essay or test.