Gender Roles In Alice Walker's The Color Purple

The Tables Have Turned Purple
In The Color Purple, Alice Walker paints a very vivid picture of life for some
African­American women during the 1930s. The main character, Celie, goes through a long process in the novel to gain her voice as a woman who is uneducated. Gender roles play a huge part in this story because it not only shows the good side of the characters, but the bad side as well. Throughout the novel Celie has to face men who are constantly degrading her value as a human being, but by the end of the book she becomes powerful than any of the male characters.
She gains her freedom from other women and by writing to God in her journal.
Alice Walker writes about women first as being feeble and dependent . She does this to convey to
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Her younger sister, Nettie, gets a boyfriend and Celie tells her to focus on school. Celie knows how men can be so she goes out of her way to protect her sister. Celie says, “Some time he still be looking at Nettie, but I always git in his light” (Walker 18). She uses her body to keep Alphonso away from Nettie. Critic Frank W. Shelton explains that Celie’s “real hope for life lies with Nettie, to whom she is very devoted and whom she helps escape” (Shelton
1) from Mr. ____, Nettie’s old boyfriend and Celie’s current husband. Even though Celie is still weak when it comes to protecting herself, she has grown as a person so that she can protect others like her sister. When her sister leaves “they vow to write and thus keep in contact with one another, but Mr. ____ intercepts and keeps Nettie 's letters from Celie” (Shelton 1) which makes her wonder why she has not heard from Nettie. The point, Shelton makes is that because Nettie was the hope of Celie, she was also her strength; and when she did not receive any letters from
Nettie it crushed her spirits and made her fragile again. Celie does not know how to be a strong woman or a tough human being for that matter. When she does meet a lusty lady by the name of
Sofia, she’s jealous of

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