The Color Purple

Alice Walker

Sexuality/ Discovering One's Sexual Identity

Although Celie is married to Mister, they were never in love. Mister treated Celie poorly. He would beat her and tell her how ugly and useless she is. Celie has never loved Mister but it took her many years to realize that she didn't like men at all. "Take off they pants, I say, and men look like frogs to me. No matter how you kiss 'em, as far I'm concern, frogs is what they stay" (Walker 254) After discovering her own sexuality, Celie soon realized that she loved with Shug.

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Racism/ Transcending Racial Stereotypes

Mister was cruel to Celie. Not only did he beat her physically, he beat her up verbally. "Who you think you is? he say. You can't curse nobody. Look at you. You black, you pore, you ugly, you a woman. Goddam, he say, you nothing at all" (Walker 206.) In the beginning of the book, Celie was not happy with herself. As time went on she began to stick up for herself. The more time Celie spent with Shug the more confident she became. By the end of the book, Celie was making her own clothes and was happy with the life that she was living on her own. "I'm pore, I''m black, I may be ugly and can't cook, a voice say to everything listening. But I'm here" (Walker 207).

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The Power of Female Friendship

Over time Celie and Shug become close friends. Shug stands up for Celie and tells Mister not to beat her. Celie looked up to Shug, admiring her confidence and beauty. "Make Albert let me sleep with you for now on, while you here, I say. And somehow or other, she do" (Walker 145). Mister hated that Shug and Celie were such good friends. Even though he was married to Celie, Shug is the one that he wanted to be with. "I wanted to kill you, said Mr.___ and i did slap you around a couple of times. I never understood how you and Shug got along so well together and it bothered the hell out of me" (Walker 271). As Celie goes through her life trying to find who she is, Celie comes to realize that she loves Shug. "And then, just when I know I can live content without Shug.....Shug write me she coming home" (Walker 283). No matter what happens Celie knows that she could always turn to Shug for anything that she may need. These two women became friends quickly and remained friends from then on.
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Sexism/ Transcending Gender Stereotypes

In the beginning Celie was hurt by the sexist comments made by Mister. "But what you got? You ugly. You skinny. You shape funny. You too scared to open your mouth to people. All you fit to do in Memphis is be Shug's maid. Take out her slop-jar and maybe cook her food. You not that good a cook either. And this house ain't been clean good since my first wife died. And nobody crazy or backward enough to want to marry you, niether. What you gon do?" (Walker 205) Mister was always putting her down, making Celie feel as if she wasn't good enough for him or any other man. Celie became confident with herself and the woman that she was. Eventually Celie put Mister in his place and he in return apologized for all the hurtful things that he did to her throughout their marriage.
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Works Cited

Blough, J. "Frog closeup." Photograph. Flickr. N.p., n.d. Web. 8 Nov. 2012. <>.

Center, Kheel. Woman Sewing. Photograph. Flickr. N.p., n.d. Web. 9 Nov. 2012. <>.

Hadi, Hasan. "Outcast." Photograph. Flickr. N.p., n.d. Web. 9 Nov. 2012. <>.

Romel. "Holding Hands." Photograph. Flickr. N.p., n.d. Web. 9 Nov. 2012. <>.

Walker, Alice. The Color Purple. N.p.: n.p., 1982. Print.