The Color Purple by Alice Walker

Book vs. Movie

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Differences between the book and the movie:

Letters to God

One of the primary differences between the book and the movie "The Color Purple" is that in the novel, Celie has letters to God, which she writes about the trials and tribulations she faces in her life. This is not included in the movie, and the relationship between Celie and God is not established, probably because this relationship would be difficult to set up, as well has hard to capture.

Rape Scenes

In the novel, there are rape scenes that are not included in the film. This leaves out a very sensitive scene. While rape is talked about in the film, the scenes are not visualized in the film. The director may not have included this in the film because of how strong and emotionally damaging these scenes are. This takes away a very emotional part of the plot.

Relationship between Celie and Shug

The relationship between Celie and Shug is extremely strong in the novel, and it seems as though this relationship is downplayed in the film. Celie and Shug are lovers in the novel, showing that they are bisexual. However, in the movie, this is not displayed, maybe because of how controversial bisexuality and homosexuality was when the movie was created. This leaves out some of the plot, conflict, and theme throughout the movie that was created in the novel.

Mr. Albert Johnson

In the novel, Mr. Albert Johnson is only referred to as "sir", whereas in the movie, he is referred to as Albert or Johnson. Because he is called "sir" in the novel, this establishes a very formal relationship, whereas in the film, being called Albert or Johnson creates a casual relationship.

Celie and Albert

In the novel, Celie and Albert finally come to a place of peace, and are able to enjoy each other's company in their old age, sitting on the porch in their rockers. This is not included in the film, leaving out a vital conclusion to a relationship that was established on bad terms.

The Major Similarity


Throughout the novel and the movie, womanhood is prominent theme. Womanhood is created through racial identity, self-discovery, and growth; all which impact women greatly. For Celie, it was difficult to love herself because she was a woman and because of the way she was treated. However, in the novel and film, Celie develops a love for herself and learns what womanhood is about.

Critic Reviews

The Film

According to "top critics" off of fandango, the movie was averaged at a 62 out of 100, however it received 5 out of 5 stars on Common Sense Media. Most critics agree that the movie isn't for the lighthearted, and is very emotional. It has not been suggested for children under the age of 14, but is definitely something that someone should see.

The Novel

On Common Sense Media, The Color Purple was given 4 out of 5 stars. Bookercritics says "This book is not for the faint of heart. It is intense and sometimes painful to read. However, if you go on this journey with Celie, then there is no greater feeling than the end when everything is right and all are happy, and bad people are no longer a problem." (Bookercritics WWW).
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Works Cited

"BOOKER CRITICS." BOOKER CRITICS. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Feb. 2013.

"The Color Purple." - Book Review. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Feb. 2013.

"The Color Purple." - Movie Review. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Feb. 2013.

"The Color PurpleMovie Reviews." Fandango. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Feb. 2013.