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Broadway actor portraying Harpo from The Color Purple
"Harpo want to know what to do to make Sofia mind. He sit out on the porch with Mr.. He say, I tell her one thing, she do another. Never do what I say. Always backtalk."
Occupation: Owner of the Juke Joint
Harpo is the husband of Sofia and lover of Squeak. He is the son of Mr. raised by Celie.
Harpo, raised by Celie after she is forced to marry Mr., represents another major theme in the novel
The Color Purple
. Harpo represents cultural differences, and differences between families in general. Growing up in a house that stressed male dominance, Harpo considered it to be the norm. He had observed the way his father, Mr., treated Celie. He ordered her around, beat her, raped her, emotionally abused her, and disregarded her as a member of the family. After falling in love, marrying, and starting a family with Sofia, Harpo begins to show signs of those same sexist characteristics. The two display cultural differences. Sofia was raised to be a strong independent women who is able to stand up for herself, while Harpo struggles to prove his male dominance. Although Sofia is much bigger and tougher than Harpo, he continues to try to beat her and hurt her. He is conflicted between knowing the respect he owes to Sofia, and living up to what his father has shown him. When Celie hears of Harpo's frustration over a lack of control over Sofia, she mentions to God, "I don't mention how happy he is now.Three years pass and he still whistle and sing." (Walker, 36) Although Sofia makes Harpo happy, the pressure to live up to his father, the pressure to continue liveing in this culture he has known. This constant attempt at abuse and control pushes Sofia away and he ultimately loses her.
--Page by: Constadina Manettas
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