So a few people in class have expressed dissatisfaction with the ending of The Color Purple and I have begun reading Push and it’s brought up their again. People don’t like the fairy tale ending. Well what’s wrong with the occasional fairy tale ending? I understand the criticism. This is isn’t realistic. Not everyone can start folkspants and live in The Big Happy Queer House with their extended extended family and their sister who they thought was dead. This kind of ending doesn’t represent the true plight of African-American women (or just women or just African-Americans for that matter), but does it need to?
Alice Walker stated in one of the interviews we watched that this was a form wish fulfillment. She was giving her ancestors the lives she thinks they deserved, but society never gave them. So if it works as wish fulfillment on one level why can’t it work as wish fulfillment on another? Isn’t just as beneficial to show what we’re working towards as it is to show the harsh reality? As far as believability goes the ending fits with the tone of the rest of the novel. It may not be realistic, but the novel is set up to finish that way. I’m not saying every novel should have a ridiculous happy ending, I’m just saying that I think it’s appropriate for The Color Purple to have one especially when it fits so well with the rest of the novel. Maybe I just want a happy ending after all the downers we’ve read this semester. Maybe I’m just a crazy optimist. I don’t know, but I did enjoy The Color Purple quite a bit. Feel free to yell at me in the comments.