Shug And Celie Relationship Essay

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Celie's Growth in The Color Purple by Alice Walker

The Color Purple is an award-winning novel written by Alice Walker. Originally published in 1982, the novel tells about a black woman's life struggles. Celie, the main character, is a dynamic character and changes from an abused, insecure character to a strong, loving woman. She learns to love and fight for the things she needs and desires. Most importantly she fights back against the cruelty by Mr. .

In the beginning, the reader is immediately engrossed when Celie is forcibly raped by her father and forced into an incestuous relationship with him, resulting in the birth of two children. Her fathers controlling character then forces her to marry a man that she does not love.…show more content…

Once Celie becomes Shug´s friend and stops trying to be like her, she becomes her own person. Through Shug she learned a lot more sexually about herself. All the sexual experiences she had had before the one with Shug were bad, and usually against her will. But after her experience with Shug, she realizes that sexual contact can be enjoyed, she becomes comfortable with her body, and learns that touching herself is not a bad thing. In a way they were both growing in their relationship at the same time because neither of them had had sexual experience with a woman before.

As Shug and Celie´s relationship progressed, she began to experience a real relationship with someone she cared about. For the first time in her life she truly loved someone besides her sister. Celie gained more self-confidence from being with Shug, and she finally learned how to stand up to Mr. . At one of the family dinners, the reader really gets to see how much Celie has grown and how independent she is becoming.

She tells Mr. , "You a lowdown dog is what's wrong, I say. Its time to leave you and enter into the Creation. And your dead body is just the welcome mat I need." (181).

This quote has a lot of importance because it is one of the first times Celie stands up for herself. It shows that she is not going to take his treatment anymore and is moving on, she is finally ready to enter into peace with the rest of the world and start her own life.

The Color Purple Essay

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Explore how Walker’s manipulation of Celie’s voice conveys attitudes towards the relationship with Shug Avery & Examine how the novel as a whole shows how these attitudes are shaped by the society in which the characters live Throughout The Color Purple, Alice Walker manipulates Celie’s voice in a variety of ways in order to convey the different attitudes she possesses towards Shug Avery.

As the exposition of the novel progresses, Walker initially represents Celie as a vulnerable, oppressed character, who eventually develops into becoming a confident, independent and open-minded woman, which is greatly influenced by the significant relationship she has with Shug. One way in which Walker manipulates Celie’s voice is through a graphological feature within the extract. The repetition of the lexis ‘humming’ creates uplifting and peaceful imagery of Shug, which is conveyed through Celie’s perspective, as it emphasises Celie’s appreciation of Shug’s singing.

Therefore Celie’s voice is manipulated to create an affectionate attitude towards Shug, as she immediately becomes conscious of Shug’s presence through her voice. Shug openly dedicates a song to Celie, called ‘Miss Celie’s Blues’, although the intimacy in their relationship is not as obvious to the other characters, as this form of sexuality and relationship is denounced by the rest of society. Nevertheless Walker believes in equality and that ‘love is love’, which is conveyed through the developing relationship between Celie and Shug.

The relationship between Celie and Shug can also be interpreted as personal and secretive as Celie ‘sneak back’ which suggests that the other characters are unaware of their relationship. ‘Sneak’ is an example of AAVE which represents the uninflection of present tense verbs that occur throughout the novel, which indicates that this verb does not alter according to the tense of the dialect. In Standard English, there would be an addition of the letter ‘s’ at the end of the lexis, resulting in ‘sneaks’.

This distinction between AAVE and Standard English causes the reader to sympathise over Celie, as her vernacular may reflect the lack of education she received as a child resulting in her unsophisticated idiolect within the epistolary novel. Walker therefore represents Celie as a vulnerable and innocent protagonist, with the need of support and love from Shug to develop into a self-confident and open-minded woman. This relationship was, therefore, formed to symbolise equality. There is also an example of double negation within the extract, where Mr. ___ remains unresponsive to his father as he ‘don’t say nothing’ when Shug is spoken poorly of. This AAVE feature is utilised to heighten a sense of negativity within Celie’s voice, as she observes Mr. ____’s passive behaviour. This may suggest to the reader that Celie disapproves of this passiveness conveyed by Mr. ____, thus highlighting his inadequacy of supporting Shug. Consequently, the reader may feel sympathy for Shug, as no one is able to object to Old Mr. ____’s denouncement of her. Also, the reader may equally feel sympathy for Celie as this double negation may imply that Celie has had a lack of education as a child.

This could be due to the double negative appearing slightly vague or unclear, as this AAVE feature contrasts with Standard English. In hindsight, Walker manipulates Celie’s voice to construct a negative view over Mr. ____’s reactionless behaviour, in order to represent a bond between Celie and Shug. Another way in which Walker manipulates Celie’s voice is through the epistolary tone of her voice to represent the interaction and communication between Celie, Mr. ___ and Old Mr. ___. Within this extract, both Celie and Mr. ___ react differently towards Old Mr. __ as he condemns Shug. For example, as Old Mr. ___ refers to Shug as ‘tar’ and ‘nappy headed’ through the utilisations of metaphors and similes, Mr. ___ remains silent, whereas Celie defiantly spits in the water she hands to him. Walker therefore conveys Celie to have an upsurge in power, as Mr. ___ loses his sense of power and authority. However, during the late 19th century, respecting and obeying parents was valued very highly in society, which may justify Mr. ___’s unresponsiveness to his father, and suggests the reason for Celie’s initial politeness towards him.

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Walker also represents the sexual subjugation of black women in this time period, through the negative references towards Shug, but also towards black women. Walker’s exploitations of racism and sexism are majorly influenced throughout the novel, particularly through Celie’s lack of education and years of abuse. Therefore the development in the relationship between Celie and Shug has helped Celie to become more confident, sincere and independent, which causes her to leave Mr. ___, with the support of Shug.

Author: Brandon Johnson

in The Color Purple

The Color Purple Essay

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