The Color Purple IRP

by Lindsey Wallace, Period 3

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Differences in Plot:

  • The Novel is narrated from the point of view of Celie, which is replicated by a voice over in the film by narrating some thoughts but a lot of the deep emotions and insight into Celie's character can only be discovered in the novel instead of the movie.
  • In the novel, Celie also writes a series of letters to God but the letters are never shown or part of the actual movie. In addition to the removal of the point of view flaw of the movie, the removal of the letters also takes away from Celie's character and feelings as a whole.
  • At the end of the movie, Mister is the purpose Nettie and Celie's children arrived back in the United States but this never happened in the book. In fact, Mister did not have anything to do with their return.
  • One of the main parts of the novel that is discretely put in the movie is Celie's bisexuality and the sexism theme. The director dissolved this relationship between the two women because of the criticism and controversy that would follow suit because of the discrimination of same sex couples during the time period that the movie came out. Therefore, the removal was actually for the betterment of the film.
  • Another major scene that was left out of the book was the rape scene. This was also most likely for the betterment of the work in order to not stir up even more controversy and criticism because it would be too graphic and awful for most audiences.
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Character Differences:

  • Mister was written to be a smaller proportioned man but in the movie, he appeared more portly. He is also referred to as Albert and Johnson in the movie but just Mister in the book.
  • Olivia is a baby in the film but a lot older in the novel.
  • Shug's character changes in the movie because she has more concern and hope that she is pleasing her father unlike her independent and more of a care-free nature found in the book.


Walker, Alice. The Color Purple. New York: Pocket Books- Washington Square, 1982.

The Color Purple. Dir. Steven Spielberg. Perf Oprah Winfrey, Whoopie Goldberg, Danny Glover, Desreta Jackson, Margaret Avery, Adolph Caesar. Amblin Entertainment, 1985. DVD