Jenny Nyberg, Jacqui Wunderlich, Constadina Manettas, Meg Ellis, Megan Wood, and Julie Pattesron
The Color Purpl
is a novel written in 1982 by Alice Walker, an African American author. It is an epistolary novel written through the eyes of Celie, a beaten down, woman who, at the beginning of the novel has appeared to loose faith in everything she has ever been taught. The story describes Celie's journey to self-discovery through her connection to a God she can understand and through a new-found lover she would have never expected. The book also displays themes of world-wide racism and how cultural differences fuel confusion and frustration, along with the idea that abuse in the world creates a vicious circle of abuse in an individual's life.
The novel received the 1983 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the National Book Award. Modern Renditions of the novel include a musical and film of the same name. The musical was created in 2005 and backed by people such as Oprah Winfrey, while the movie, which aired in 1985, was backed by people like Steven Spielberg, Whoopi Goldberg, and again, Oprah Winfrey.
This story's explicit content, particularly in terms of violence, often makes it a target of censors. Though it is a bit disturbing at times, the overall message of the story relates to many people, particularly women, worldwide. Celie's courage gives other women and men the courage to stand up for what they believe in and
a better life for themselves, not wait for one to land in their laps.
About the Author
Alice Walker grew up in a relatively average African American family in the American South. She was born in 1944 and was accidently shot in the eye as a young girl by her brother with a BB gun. Due to her family's lack of money, Walker was unable to receive medical treatment for the injury and found that as her wound healed it left nasty scar tissue on her eye. She often felt like an outcast due to her injury. As time went on, and the scar tissue was removed, Walker flourished, and received much popularity amongst her peers. She went on later to attend Spelman College and become a key player in the Civil Rights Movement.
Through its recreation in movies, plays, and radio stories,
The Color Purple
has touched multiple generations and continues to be a beloved story and an aspiring classic. As previously mentioned, the book was made into a movie in 1985 by director Steven Spielberg and was nominated for several awards. In the new millennium the story continued to touch lives with the production of the play by the same name featuring cast members such as Oprah Winfrey. In 2009 the novel was recreated as a radio series featuring 15 minute episodes with Nadine Marshall as Celie. The themes of finding yourself and overcoming hardship to create a better life for yourself and your family relate to so many people on so many different levels. It is hard to imagine a time in which the lessons learned from this novel will not apply to everyday life.
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