Whoopi Goldberg as Celie in The Color Purple
Whoopi Goldberg as Celie in The Color Purple

"But I don't know how to fight. All I know how to do is stay alive."

Basic Biography--

Name: Celie
Occupation: Housewife

Celie is the main character, and narrator, of The Color Purple. By confiding in God and finding friends along the way, she finds her inner strength and discovers who she really is.


Celie plays the major role in The Color Purple. From the beginning, her life has been a struggle, leading though, to a life full of self-discovery and faith. The novel starts off with Celie describing to God her home life. She is physically, emotionally, and sexually abused at a young age by her father- well, who she thought was her father at the time. After bearing children from rape and being sent to marry a stranger, Celie has a lot of self-discovery to do. She uses her letters to God as a way to express her feelings. The men in her life have abused her almost to the point of no return. Almost to the point where she gives up- but she has God to write to. Celie's homosexuality is hinted at throughout the book, and is fully exposed through her encounters with Shug. The abuse she has received from the men in her life have shown her no reason for her to trust or love any man. This abuse could have led to her homosexuality. Celie's character exhibits instanstances of the theme of cultural differences. All her life she has been stuck in a world of male dominance and abuse, until she moves away with Shug. She is able to experience a life free from physical, sexual, and emotional abuse and finds hope- and a talent she never knew she had- in sewing pants. She created pants for herself and other women, which showed a cultural shift from what she was used to- a male dominated cultural where woman wearing pants would not be acceptable. Celie show strength and how one can overcome most anything with a little faith and hope to hold on to. Although she loses faith along the way- such as when she hears that Nettie has died, she always finds her way back to God. Thru her letters to God, Nettie, and the woman in her life such as Shug and Sofia, Celie finds herself. She represents a coming of age. It takes most of her life, but finally Celie is happy. Whether it be something like finding a hidden talent in sewing pants, or finding the strength and courage to forgive Mr., Celie finds herself.

--Page by: Constadina Manettas