Black Women Writers @ Southwestern University

An English / Feminist Studies / Race & Ethnicity Studies Course Blog

Impressions So Far on The Color Purple

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Never has a novel so profoundly affected me as has The Color Purple. The way Celie was treated so abhorrently and was expected to be strictly submissive to her husband while still working in the home, while at the same time also having the one person she’s truly loved’s letters hidden from her by said husband embodies the most toxic home environment I can imagine. She goes through life essentially unloved between the time Nettie leaves home and Shug Avery and she bond, constantly insulted and physically abused. Even the most intimate of relations, the act of sex, is sullied by the way Mr. runs his and his wife’s life. The moment of metamorphosis to me seems like when Celie “discovers” her vagina for what it really is, and learns not to associate it with shame or unpleasantness but rather beauty and admiration. This moment is a huge stepping stone in the sexual freedom of Celie, and can be seen symbolically as representing the act of accepting and embodying everything that your sexual identity calls for and, through this act, experiencing sexual satisfaction and freedom. Also, through the following lesbian sexual experience Shug and Celie share, the dominating force of the man in sex is taken away, which would produce¬†castration anxiety in the aforementioned man after being eliminated from his wife and mistress’s sex life.

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