Essay on The Color Purple: Spirituality and Religion

1483 Words Sep 26th, 1999 6 Pages
Alice Walker states that ‘The Colour Purple' remains for her the "theological work examining the journey from the religious back to the spiritual". How successful is she in revealing her purpose to the reader? <br>
<br>In the preface to ‘the Colour Purple' Walker identifies her religious development as the inspiration for her novel and labels religion and spirituality as the principle themes in the book. There are a number of principle characters who complete this journey however in many instances the religious element of the novel is overshadowed by other prominent themes such as personal development, female relationships and racial issues. These must be taken into consideration when assessing Walker's success in delivering her
…show more content…
The missionaries represent the formal ‘white' church and the Olinka fulfilling the idea of pantheist spirituality. This is a journey Nettie makes physically and spiritually. Shug and Mr.'s views on religion also change during the novel, and as Walker intends, all make this ‘journey' with "courage and the help of others". <br>
<br>At the beginning of the book Celie announces her dependence on God by recognising that she can "tell nobody but God" about the abuse she is receiving from her stepfather. Celie is a weak girl whose self esteem has been shattered by her step father and her husband who have denied her an education and parted her from the only happiness in her life, her sister Nettie. Celie is degraded by Albert when he says "You black, you pore, you ugly, you a woman" he attaches a stigma to all these things insinuating Celie is a lesser person because of these qualities. Her life is so unhappy before Shug arrives because she is dependent on a God that she can't communicate with. Celie admits that her image of God is "big and old and tall and graybearded and white. He wear white robes and go barefooted." Despite feeling isolated and rejected from the church whilst pregnant and whilst married to Mr. by the women at church who ‘stare' at her, Celie stills goes to church and conforms with the communities idea of religion and Christian worship. Celie does not develop or receive any of the help she asks for in her letters whilst

Related Documents