Change In Alice Walker's The Color Purple

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The Color Purple, by Alice Walker, is a novel centered around change. As a romantic novel, it demonstrates that people and circumstances can and do change for the better, and that those deserving of a happy ending will find one. Besides the narrative, change is also reflected in the names of certain characters. The dispositions of certain characters-- particularly Sofia, Shug Avery, and Fonso-- and the changes other characters experience as their circumstances evolve-- particularly those of Mr. _____/ Albert, Pa/ Daddy, Squeak/ Mary Agnes, and Reverend _____/ Samuel-- are reflected through their names.
Sofia, Shug, and Fonso’s names all give insight into who they are as characters, which in turn indicates the lessons they impart onto Celie, lessons that shape, define, and change her as a person.
Sofia's name means wisdom, which is fitting when considering that she bestows her own wisdom
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The sultriness of her nickname is also indicative of what a sexual being Shug is-- even her name oozes sexuality, which is apt, as Shug is responsible for almost all of Celie’s sexual education. She teaches her about her “button”, that being a virgin is not confined to being penetrated, and she is the only person Celie lusts for. Besides being a love/ sexual interest for Celie, Shug also protects her, as she is the person that gets Albert stops beating Celie, catalyzing a change in both Celie and Albert. Celie feels loved and valued, and Albert is held accountable for his wrongdoing. The unprecedented love and compassion Celie experiences through Shug changes both women for the better, but Shug’s role in the novel is no blindside when her name is considered. Again, names indicate a character’s disposition and the lessons they teach Celie, lessons that ultimately become defining moments in the cultivation of her

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