The Colour Purple And Invisible Man By Steven Spielberg
20 July 2015
The Changing African-American Mindset
In life individuals are often confronted with experiences that shape who they eventually become. The novel Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison and the film, The Colour Purple directed by Steven Spielberg, both explore the lives of their two protagonists and examine how their experiences define them. The novel Invisible Man is dated back to the early 1900s, and is based upon an anonymous African-American man who reflects on his life experiences. In comparison, The Colour Purple is about an African-American woman who faces abusive and submissive behaviour. These experiences change them so that they become different individuals at the end of their respective journeys. …show more content…
This is evident when Celie is physically abused, raped and treated like a slave by both her step-father, Alphonso, and her husband, Albert. This evidence showcases that Celie is expected to conform to the role of the inferior woman who is there to serve the men in her life but she has no rights as an individual. Additionally, by accepting this role not does she encourages her husband’s abusive behaviour, she also accepts the gender stereotype and indirectly supports it by not fighting against it. This submissive behaviour is evident additionally when she has to take care of her husband’s mistress; Shug. Celie tends Shug in order to avoid being beaten. However, ironically her relationship with Shug teaches her to be stronger. By observing Shug she learns the importance of having the respect of those around her. She also recognizes that she is given harsh treatment because of her submissive nature and that she needs to break free from the stereotypical role. As a result she tries to fight the stereotype of being a weak and helpless African-American woman. Moreover, Celie’s characterization is depiction of a symbol. She symbolizes many of the other women in the world, especially African-American women who face gender stereotyping through both physical and mental …show more content…
In both cases the protagonists become stronger individuals who have a better sense of identity and reject the stereotypical roles that have defined them all along. This shows that every individual faces trials and certain circumstances in life that can make them stronger if they are able to overcome those situations and accept the lessons they are being taught.
Ellison, Ralph. “Invisible Man.” Penguin Books. U.S.A: Unknown. 1952. Print.
The Colour Purple. Dir. Steven Spielburg. Perf. Danny Glover, Adolph Caesar, Margaret Avery, Rae Daw Chong and Whoopi Goldberg. 1985. Warner Bros.