Yup, we’ve got that one

And more than one million more. Become a member today and read free for two weeks.

Read free for two weeks
Now a Broadway musical starring Cynthia Erivo, Jennifer Hudson, and Danielle Brooks: Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize–winning masterpiece, a powerful novel of courage in the face of oppression   Celie has grown up in rural Georgia, navigating a childhood of ceaseless abuse. Not only is she poor and despised by the society around her, she’s badly treated by her family. As a teenager she begins writing letters directly to God in an attempt to transcend a life that often seems too much to bear. Her letters span twenty years and record a journey of self-discovery and empowerment through the guiding light of a few strong women and her own implacable will to find harmony with herself and her home.
The Color Purple’s deeply inspirational narrative, coupled with Walker’s prodigious talent as a stylist and storyteller, have made the novel a contemporary classic of American letters. 

This ebook features a new introduction written by the author on the twenty-fifth anniversary of publication, and an illustrated biography of Alice Walker including rare photos from the author’s personal collection.

Topics: United States of America, Race Relations, Family, American South, Georgia, 1930s, Epistolary Novels, Realistic, Heartfelt, Feminism, Sisters, Sexual Abuse, Sexuality, Spirituality , LGBTQ, Adoption, African American Culture & Characters, Segregation, Siblings, Poverty, Discrimination, Social Class, Realism, Female Author, American Author, Sexism, Made into a Movie, Domestic Abuse, and Bisexuality

Published: Open Road Media an imprint of Open Road Integrated Media on
ISBN: 9781453223970
List price: $14.99
Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
Availability for The Color Purple
With a 30 day free trial you can read online for free
  1. This book can be read on up to 6 mobile devices.
I don't really understand the hoopla surrounding this book. The blurb on the back was totally misleading. Maybe the movie is better....more
I have no good reason as to why it has taken me so long to read this book. I kept putting it aside because I saw the movie several times. I thought there would not be much difference between the two. I was totally wrong. The movie was not a total shot in the dark but like in most cases the book is much better. Walker presents her characters with so much clarity. Disappointment and misery were Celie's companions early in life. She was molested repeatedly, forced to marry as a teenager, and torn away from her children and sister. All these tragedies were forced upon her by men which led to her life long disdain for them. There was a certain inner strength that Celie possessed that would not allow you to pity her. The same was true for Sophia. Shug was the most celebrated of the women. She could be likened to a strutting peacock. Behind all that show and celebrity was a weak woman. Of all the characters my opinion of Mr. changed the most. Contrary to how the movie depicted him, Mr. did not remain a lazy, abusive, self centered individual. When faced with severe loneliness, he began to examine his life and made the necessary changes. Mr. and Celie were able to build a friendship later in life which was a true test of the human spirit. Walker did not allow the reader to lose touch with Celie's sister, Nettie. Lives were taking shape and new relationships blossoming in America and Africa all while each sister thinks the other is dead. Even though Nettie and Celie were separated for years and unsure of the other's plight they never gave up hope. Their love saw no end. The Color Purple demonstrated how love will cover a multitude of faults. Walker's writing style reminded me of J. California Cooper. Celie held this story together because she refused to be broken.more
"The Color Purple" is one of the strongest statements of how love transforms and cruelty disfigures the human spirit that this reviewer has ever read. Alice Walker gives us Celie, 14 years old when the book opens, who has been raped, abused, degraded and twice impregnated by her father. After he takes her children away from her without a so much as a word, he marries her off like a piece of chattel to her husband, who is so cold, distant and inhuman to her that she can only refer to him as Mr; and this person deprives her of her sister Nettie, the only one who ever loved her.

Celie manages to survive by living one day at a time. Her life is a series of flat, lifeless panoramas painted in browns and grays. Into this existence, if you can call it that, comes Shug Avery, her husband's mistress, who shows Celie her own specialness and uniqueness. A lot has been made about lesbianism in this book and all of it is beside the point. Celie isn't a lesbian, she is a human being in need of love and Shug Avery helps Celie realize that she is somebody worth loving and caring about. When Celie hurls her defiance into Mr's face -- "I'm poor, I'm black, I may be ugly... but I'm here", she is making an affirmation not only to him, but to the whole world; the reader can only say, along with Shug Avery, "Amen".

When Celie finds the strength to leave Mr, he is left to face the reality of himself and what he sees isn't pretty; his transformation humanizes him and allows Celie to call him Albert, recognizing him as a person, as he finally recognizes her as one. The last chapter makes many readers go through half a box of Kleenex (Stephen Spielberg once said in an interview that he "cried and cried at the end" of the book), but Walker doesn't play cheap with the reader's emotions; she has a powerful story to tell and she tells it with such consummate skill and sensitivity that she brings us into it and makes it ours. This is a book to be treasured and read over and over again.
more
This was a book that I had to put down from time to time -- to think about what I had read and "inwardly digest" it. I don't think Walker has ever produced anything close to how good this book is.more
I was much too young when I read this (sixth grade) and it completely traumatized me. Looking back, there were many themes I just didn't understand, but the writing was compelling. The sense of the main character feeling trapped in a situation she didn't know how to get out of was overpowering. It would get more stars, but it was simply excruciatingly sad; even the end couldn't compel me to feel better about this one.more
This was pretty good book. I found the dialect difficult to grasp at first, and I couldn't connect emotionally with Celie until about half way through the book, which is when the story really picked up. I adored the story of Nettie's journey, and it definitely enhanced the plot. I found the names hard to keep track of at times, and the family connections were insanely complicated, but for the most part, it was good. I expected it to focus a lot on racism, but it was more about the family relationships than anything else. It was a very interesting read, and I thought the ending was very fitting.more
I stayed up all night reading this. I mean, literally. I also cried and cried and cried. It's wonderful and powerful.more
Great book, great story, amazing characters.I really liked the diary and letter style that the book uses; it really helps you to get to know Celie and her sister very closely, and let's you share in their troubles and emotions. I found the beginning very touching and very convincing, but thought the ending wasn't as strong.more
This is a book about a black woman who had suffered serial rape by a man called himself as her father , then had two children who were taken away from her. Then she ran into a bad marriage , her husband treated her as a slave. This is very sad, but she never gave up, found out someone who truly loved her and had happy ending.more
Extremely powerful. Celie, a young woman, is raped by her mother's husband and ends up bearing two children who are torn from her arms at delivery and given away for adoption, which she never, ever gets over. She's given away to another man and used a servant, whipping post, and babysitter to his torturous children. In comes his other woman, the one he's always loved, right in the same house with Celie. Surprisingly, the two women become close friends, and turn the tables on him.more
Listened to this on CD as read by the author. VERY powerful, especially in opening chapters.more
I didn't get on with this book as well as I thought I would.It reads like a monologue, and seemed to take a long time to say a few things.The good bits for me were when the characters spoke about the wrongs that had been done to them. This seemed to capture the feelings quite well, and better than other stories like The Help that I've recently read.Other that that though it's not terribly memorable for me.more
This book is written as a series of letters. First, Celie, a poor black girl is writing letters to God, then later, she writes them to her sister Nettie. Shen never gets replies to the letters so they are more narrative than conversational. Celie is raped and abused by her stepfather, then later married off to a man who also abuses her. She meets and falls in love with Shug, the woman her husband loves, and Shug helps Celie learn that she is a worthwhile person. Later in the book, we learn that Mr._____, Celie's husband, has been hiding Nettie's letters and when she finds them, she begins reading them and we learn her sister's story as well. The stories intertwine and through them we see all the characters in the story grow and change and go through a lifetime of hurts and healings and emotions.I like that the characters are neither all good nor all bad, but rather just human.more
Celie is a poor black woman who has been wronged since the day she was born. Sexually abused by her stepfather, given to her husband to look after his children and house, with no love involved. She hangs her head and fights to get through every day, unable to understand why this all is happening. You think she is a weak black woman, but really celie is so strong. She quietly fights to stop these dreadful things happening to her beloved sister. Men have done nothing to help her all her life, just being cruel and selfish towards her. women are the ones that have shown her any kindness or compassion, It seems hardly surprising that she is confused by her sexuality. This is a wonderfully uplifting book of Celies life and her eventual acceptance of herself and the people around her. I loved the film and the books is just as good, you really have to read it.more
Celie is a poor black woman whose letters tell the story of 20 years of her life, beginning at age 14 when she is being abused and raped by her father and attempting to protect her sister from the same fate, and continuing over the course of her marriage to "Mister," a brutal man who terrorizes her. Celie eventually learns that her abusive husband has been keeping her sister's letters from her and the rage she feels, combined with an example of love and independence provided by her close friend Shug, pushes her finally toward an awakening of her creative and loving self.more
I don’t know why on earth I didn’t read this book years ago. It was scintillating from start to finish, with vibrant characters and heart-wrenching plotlines. I can absolutely see why it often appears in “If You Haven’t Read This, You Haven’t Lived”-type lists. The voices of the narrating characters are impressively distinct and powerful, and this is perhaps one of the most emotionally affecting books I have ever read.Although I read books like The Help earlier, I can clearly identify echoes of The Color Purple running through them. I’m not sure I could ever read another book about black experiences in the southern USA in the last century without somehow comparing it to this. Excellent – I’d recommend it to anyone and everyone.more
I thought this amazing even though there were several aspects of the novel that would ordinarily be off-putting. First of all, this is very dark--that first page landed like a punch to the gut, dealing with the rape of a child. There's a lot of raw sexual content and graphic violence depicted in the novel. I've dropped books with strong styles like Fingersmith and The God of Small Things because I couldn't take similar subject matter. But I think what helped me through it (besides the sense that after this beginning worse couldn't happen) was the second aspect that ordinarily would put me off--this is an epistolary novel--told through letters (and in dialect and with many deliberate misspellings and no quotation marks to offset dialogue). The text is headed by the words: You better not never tell nobody but God. It'll kill your mammy. Following that are the "Dear God" letters of Celie, who is fourteen-years-old when the novel begins, set in the American South from the early 20th century to World War II (The 1927 Bessie Smith song, "A Good Man is Hard to Find" is referenced fairly early on.) Once I started reading those letters I just couldn't stop--they were that riveting. I think it helps the subject matter--imparting a simultaneous intimacy and distance--so that your heart can break for Celie without feeling repelled, and it's easier to take the disturbing content in short bursts--this book flew right past, read in one sitting. The voice is marvelous, making the best use of the epistolary technique, showing Celie and her growth in the very way she writes--spelling, grammar, etc making me feel as if she was whispering into my ear. There are a host of strong characters such as Shug Avery and Sofia. Well, strong Black women characters. If I have a criticism, it's that pretty much every male and every White character is loathsome, at least through most of the book, although there is a redemptive aspect to one of the worse, and a few positive minor male characters like Samuel and Adam and Jack. There's a strong spiritual theme in the book--as you might guess from a book mostly composed of "Dear God" letters (and ending with "Amen.") It's important--but I never feel it was preachy--and ties in very closely with the title: But more than anything else, God love admiration.You saying God vain? I ast.Naw, she say. Not vain, just wanting to share a good thing. I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don't notice it. What it do when it pissed off? I ast. Oh, it make something else. People think pleasing God is all God care about. But any fool living in the world can see it always trying to please us back.It's a pretty harrowing book for most of its length--but with passages of beauty, glints of humor and strong friendships among women--dark in themes and content but ultimately not depressing. I enjoyed the Spielberg film adaptation too. I think it would be hard to beat his cast. But compared to the book it feels like a Disney production.more
I was introduced last year to Alice Walker through her masterful short story “Everyday Use”, which in my mind thoroughly embodies the short story as a distillation of characters, plots, and messages into the purest expression of an idea. That’s probably why I ultimately found The Color Purple a little disappointing. It is certainly a very worthy book in the way Walker sets out to itemize all the inequities and hardships faced by black women of the 1930s Southern United States through her numerous protagonists: primarily the narrator Celie, who starts the novel as a fourteen-year-old who has borne two children to her abusive father and is forcibly married off to a much older man; but also her sister Nettie who ends up a missionary in Africa; Shug, the flighty nightclub singer with whom Celie finds sexual awakening; and Sofia, Celie’s spirited step-daughter-in-law. However, the sprawling nature of the story and the sheer amount of ‘issue’ Walker attempts to include tends to overwhelm and dilute her message and ultimately, the effectiveness of her depiction is marred by uneven plotting, overly-similar and convenient dramatic resolutions, and frequent distracting continuity problems. The result is muddled. The few sparse pages of “Everyday Use” pack their remarkable punch from how Walker specifies a single story, and places in a character’s single moment the reaction against the built-up frustrations of a lifetime, and through the simplicity of the narrative renders it a reaction against the whole of history. In contrast, The Color Purple succeeds in saying nothing with that clarity of purpose or universality… though it tells many things and can be admired for doing so at least, with unflinching brutality and unapologetic morality.more
Wow. I mean. Really. Wow. You know how there are some books and their words wrap around you like a comforting blanket? Well...This. Is. Not. One.The Color Purple rips the clothes right off of your skin, leaving you bare and vulnerable. From the first freakin' moment opening the page. You are just THERE and you can't be anywhere else but THERE. Even when you're not.Wow.Have you seen the movie? I had. I thought I was prepared. Because the movie was devastating. I remember vividly being in the house that me and a couple of college friends rented, sitting there in the dark, all of us sitting on our furniture, chain smoking, drinking wine and crying. The movie didn't prepare me.Walker's words are music. Sometimes a sweet melody, but mostly a cacophony of pain and sorrow. Oh and how the characters change and grow with time, how they eventually find peace. And the dichotomy of the South and Africa? It makes me yearn to find pieces of literature that can show me the mysteries of that continent. I am incoherent and refuse to speak of the summary. It's The Color Purple! It doesn't need a summary.It is alive.It is life.more
The Color Purple isn't for the fainthearted reader. If you can tolerate some graphic descriptions of abuse (both sexual and physical), strong language, and sexuality, you'll be rewarded with some poetically beautiful passages.This is a novel in letters written by sisters Celie and Nettie. Each one's voice is distinct, but Celie's seems the most powerful. Celie had little formal education, and her dialect is more unique than Nettie's grammatically correct style. Both women address issues of racial inequality in the Jim Crow South, conflict and violence between husbands and wives/men and women, and poverty. Additionally, Nettie's missionary venture to Africa prompts her to reflect on the differences between African American and African cultures.Continuity issues always jump out at me, and this book has several. The time line between Celie's and Nettie's letters just doesn't add up. Events that seemingly span several years in Celie's account happen within weeks or months in Nettie's account. I don't think time was an important concern for Alice Walker, though. No dates are mentioned in the novel, although there are vague references to World War II. The story is more important than the details, and readers will do well to turn off their internal calendars and immerse themselves in the flow of the words.more
Celie's Southern voice comes straight off the page into your ear. There's humour as well as suffering, mainly because of the dry unsentimental way Celie observes things and tells it like it is. Genuinely uplifting, a triumph of the human spirit.more
This was my second epistolary novel in as many weeks and again a good read. Celie is a poor, black girl, barely literate and writing letters to God. Be warned that the story contains some pretty shocking events, including, in the opening chapter, the rape of Celie by her father. Sad and brutal for a large part, but ultimately hopeful Walker explores many themes including love, gender, race, religion, marriage, family, and sexuality. A worthwhile read and although I can't agree with Walker's ideas about God there is plenty to think about in this novel.more
Fantastic, I was soon lost between the pages, a Real MUST read.more
Very good book a little hard to read at times, but still in all very good. I didn't really like the letter/diary form it is written in, but it did not bother me. The Color Purple is a one day book, so if your bored and just wanting to read a little pick this up.more
The story of two sisters and their family from the deep South. Celie being the eldest and Nettie the younger. The story begins with Celie being sexually abused by her thought to be father, later only to find out he is her step father. She bares two children from him which are taken from her. She becomes emotionally scarred from the experience. Her father marries her off to a man who does not care for her but needs someone to take care of his own children. Her life seems hopeless until the mistress of her husband, Shug Avery, moves in with them. Through the love of Shug she realizes there is more to life, her life is worthwhile, and begins a journey to find herself. Meanwhile her younger sister Nettie leaves home and joins up with a missionary family, who have two children that look just like her. She later discovers that the children are indeed Celie's, adopted by the missionary couple. She sails to Africa with the family and lives there for 30 years continuously writing to Celie but never getting a response. Celie doesn't know if Nettie is alive or dead until she and Shug discover letters hidden from Nettie. The story ends with a reunion of the two sisters and their children. In the end both sisters despite their poor upbringing discover what it means to love and be loved and to have self dignity and worth.more
This book is a very good book. The book discuss the issue of how African American women were dominated by African American men during the time shortly after slavery. The book's main character is a woman named Cely who has been dominated by every man in her life. She was sexually abused by her father who later allowed her to marry a much older man who Cely called Mister. Mister was extremely mentally abusive and physicaly abusive toward her. He seperated her from the only family member who she loved and who really loved her back, her sister Nettie. This book focuses on Cely struggle to find herself and discover her inner strength, which she eventually finds. I would recommend this book being read by 11th or 12th graders. This book is very explicit and has a very mature subject matter.more
This story covers the life of Celie, a damaged and down-trodden black women living in the early 1900s. It follows her through years of physical, emotional and psychological abuse, and her resignation to it and to her lot in life. The one thing that sustains her through her life is her love for her sister Nettie, from whom she is separated. We get to know Celie through her writings to God, like diary entries, and later the writings of sisters Celie and Nettie to one another.The Barnes and Noble synopsis says that this covers 20 years of Celie's life, but I would think that is inaccurate. By the end of the story, the women are plump and gray-haired. They are definitely older than the 34 years of age that the synopsis would put them at!Celie has a childhood of abuse, being raised by an indifferent father after her mother dies. Even while her mother was alive, he began an incestuous relationship with Celie, raping her for the first time when she is 14. Her father marries her off to a man she doesn't even know, and she simply moves from one horrible homelife to another. Eventually she meets a woman that everyone calls Shug (like "sugar"), and Shug becomes a vital person to Celie over time and to her growth as a person.Celie may not realize it early on in her life, but she really is a strong woman. She only learns this later on through the love of Shug.I liked Celie. I really did. She was walked all over so much that she really underestimated herself. She built a wall around herself and didn't want to let anyone in. She became like steel-- rigid and nearly indestructible. I just kept rooting for her, hoping she would catch a break, that she would find herself and realize the power she had.There are many "unlikeable" characters in this book, and some characters that you feel somewhat indifferent about. But this story is really one of hope and redemption, and many of those unlikeable or indifferent characters experience a certain redemption before the book ends. And the author did so well at making me care about Celie that by the last chapter it only took the final chapter introduction to make me break down in tears, although I wasn't even sure yet whether they would be tears of happiness or tears of sorrow.This was a very good book. If you haven't already read this classic, add it to your Wish List!more
Read all 103 reviews

Reviews

I don't really understand the hoopla surrounding this book. The blurb on the back was totally misleading. Maybe the movie is better....more
I have no good reason as to why it has taken me so long to read this book. I kept putting it aside because I saw the movie several times. I thought there would not be much difference between the two. I was totally wrong. The movie was not a total shot in the dark but like in most cases the book is much better. Walker presents her characters with so much clarity. Disappointment and misery were Celie's companions early in life. She was molested repeatedly, forced to marry as a teenager, and torn away from her children and sister. All these tragedies were forced upon her by men which led to her life long disdain for them. There was a certain inner strength that Celie possessed that would not allow you to pity her. The same was true for Sophia. Shug was the most celebrated of the women. She could be likened to a strutting peacock. Behind all that show and celebrity was a weak woman. Of all the characters my opinion of Mr. changed the most. Contrary to how the movie depicted him, Mr. did not remain a lazy, abusive, self centered individual. When faced with severe loneliness, he began to examine his life and made the necessary changes. Mr. and Celie were able to build a friendship later in life which was a true test of the human spirit. Walker did not allow the reader to lose touch with Celie's sister, Nettie. Lives were taking shape and new relationships blossoming in America and Africa all while each sister thinks the other is dead. Even though Nettie and Celie were separated for years and unsure of the other's plight they never gave up hope. Their love saw no end. The Color Purple demonstrated how love will cover a multitude of faults. Walker's writing style reminded me of J. California Cooper. Celie held this story together because she refused to be broken.more
"The Color Purple" is one of the strongest statements of how love transforms and cruelty disfigures the human spirit that this reviewer has ever read. Alice Walker gives us Celie, 14 years old when the book opens, who has been raped, abused, degraded and twice impregnated by her father. After he takes her children away from her without a so much as a word, he marries her off like a piece of chattel to her husband, who is so cold, distant and inhuman to her that she can only refer to him as Mr; and this person deprives her of her sister Nettie, the only one who ever loved her.

Celie manages to survive by living one day at a time. Her life is a series of flat, lifeless panoramas painted in browns and grays. Into this existence, if you can call it that, comes Shug Avery, her husband's mistress, who shows Celie her own specialness and uniqueness. A lot has been made about lesbianism in this book and all of it is beside the point. Celie isn't a lesbian, she is a human being in need of love and Shug Avery helps Celie realize that she is somebody worth loving and caring about. When Celie hurls her defiance into Mr's face -- "I'm poor, I'm black, I may be ugly... but I'm here", she is making an affirmation not only to him, but to the whole world; the reader can only say, along with Shug Avery, "Amen".

When Celie finds the strength to leave Mr, he is left to face the reality of himself and what he sees isn't pretty; his transformation humanizes him and allows Celie to call him Albert, recognizing him as a person, as he finally recognizes her as one. The last chapter makes many readers go through half a box of Kleenex (Stephen Spielberg once said in an interview that he "cried and cried at the end" of the book), but Walker doesn't play cheap with the reader's emotions; she has a powerful story to tell and she tells it with such consummate skill and sensitivity that she brings us into it and makes it ours. This is a book to be treasured and read over and over again.
more
This was a book that I had to put down from time to time -- to think about what I had read and "inwardly digest" it. I don't think Walker has ever produced anything close to how good this book is.more
I was much too young when I read this (sixth grade) and it completely traumatized me. Looking back, there were many themes I just didn't understand, but the writing was compelling. The sense of the main character feeling trapped in a situation she didn't know how to get out of was overpowering. It would get more stars, but it was simply excruciatingly sad; even the end couldn't compel me to feel better about this one.more
This was pretty good book. I found the dialect difficult to grasp at first, and I couldn't connect emotionally with Celie until about half way through the book, which is when the story really picked up. I adored the story of Nettie's journey, and it definitely enhanced the plot. I found the names hard to keep track of at times, and the family connections were insanely complicated, but for the most part, it was good. I expected it to focus a lot on racism, but it was more about the family relationships than anything else. It was a very interesting read, and I thought the ending was very fitting.more
I stayed up all night reading this. I mean, literally. I also cried and cried and cried. It's wonderful and powerful.more
Great book, great story, amazing characters.I really liked the diary and letter style that the book uses; it really helps you to get to know Celie and her sister very closely, and let's you share in their troubles and emotions. I found the beginning very touching and very convincing, but thought the ending wasn't as strong.more
This is a book about a black woman who had suffered serial rape by a man called himself as her father , then had two children who were taken away from her. Then she ran into a bad marriage , her husband treated her as a slave. This is very sad, but she never gave up, found out someone who truly loved her and had happy ending.more
Extremely powerful. Celie, a young woman, is raped by her mother's husband and ends up bearing two children who are torn from her arms at delivery and given away for adoption, which she never, ever gets over. She's given away to another man and used a servant, whipping post, and babysitter to his torturous children. In comes his other woman, the one he's always loved, right in the same house with Celie. Surprisingly, the two women become close friends, and turn the tables on him.more
Listened to this on CD as read by the author. VERY powerful, especially in opening chapters.more
I didn't get on with this book as well as I thought I would.It reads like a monologue, and seemed to take a long time to say a few things.The good bits for me were when the characters spoke about the wrongs that had been done to them. This seemed to capture the feelings quite well, and better than other stories like The Help that I've recently read.Other that that though it's not terribly memorable for me.more
This book is written as a series of letters. First, Celie, a poor black girl is writing letters to God, then later, she writes them to her sister Nettie. Shen never gets replies to the letters so they are more narrative than conversational. Celie is raped and abused by her stepfather, then later married off to a man who also abuses her. She meets and falls in love with Shug, the woman her husband loves, and Shug helps Celie learn that she is a worthwhile person. Later in the book, we learn that Mr._____, Celie's husband, has been hiding Nettie's letters and when she finds them, she begins reading them and we learn her sister's story as well. The stories intertwine and through them we see all the characters in the story grow and change and go through a lifetime of hurts and healings and emotions.I like that the characters are neither all good nor all bad, but rather just human.more
Celie is a poor black woman who has been wronged since the day she was born. Sexually abused by her stepfather, given to her husband to look after his children and house, with no love involved. She hangs her head and fights to get through every day, unable to understand why this all is happening. You think she is a weak black woman, but really celie is so strong. She quietly fights to stop these dreadful things happening to her beloved sister. Men have done nothing to help her all her life, just being cruel and selfish towards her. women are the ones that have shown her any kindness or compassion, It seems hardly surprising that she is confused by her sexuality. This is a wonderfully uplifting book of Celies life and her eventual acceptance of herself and the people around her. I loved the film and the books is just as good, you really have to read it.more
Celie is a poor black woman whose letters tell the story of 20 years of her life, beginning at age 14 when she is being abused and raped by her father and attempting to protect her sister from the same fate, and continuing over the course of her marriage to "Mister," a brutal man who terrorizes her. Celie eventually learns that her abusive husband has been keeping her sister's letters from her and the rage she feels, combined with an example of love and independence provided by her close friend Shug, pushes her finally toward an awakening of her creative and loving self.more
I don’t know why on earth I didn’t read this book years ago. It was scintillating from start to finish, with vibrant characters and heart-wrenching plotlines. I can absolutely see why it often appears in “If You Haven’t Read This, You Haven’t Lived”-type lists. The voices of the narrating characters are impressively distinct and powerful, and this is perhaps one of the most emotionally affecting books I have ever read.Although I read books like The Help earlier, I can clearly identify echoes of The Color Purple running through them. I’m not sure I could ever read another book about black experiences in the southern USA in the last century without somehow comparing it to this. Excellent – I’d recommend it to anyone and everyone.more
I thought this amazing even though there were several aspects of the novel that would ordinarily be off-putting. First of all, this is very dark--that first page landed like a punch to the gut, dealing with the rape of a child. There's a lot of raw sexual content and graphic violence depicted in the novel. I've dropped books with strong styles like Fingersmith and The God of Small Things because I couldn't take similar subject matter. But I think what helped me through it (besides the sense that after this beginning worse couldn't happen) was the second aspect that ordinarily would put me off--this is an epistolary novel--told through letters (and in dialect and with many deliberate misspellings and no quotation marks to offset dialogue). The text is headed by the words: You better not never tell nobody but God. It'll kill your mammy. Following that are the "Dear God" letters of Celie, who is fourteen-years-old when the novel begins, set in the American South from the early 20th century to World War II (The 1927 Bessie Smith song, "A Good Man is Hard to Find" is referenced fairly early on.) Once I started reading those letters I just couldn't stop--they were that riveting. I think it helps the subject matter--imparting a simultaneous intimacy and distance--so that your heart can break for Celie without feeling repelled, and it's easier to take the disturbing content in short bursts--this book flew right past, read in one sitting. The voice is marvelous, making the best use of the epistolary technique, showing Celie and her growth in the very way she writes--spelling, grammar, etc making me feel as if she was whispering into my ear. There are a host of strong characters such as Shug Avery and Sofia. Well, strong Black women characters. If I have a criticism, it's that pretty much every male and every White character is loathsome, at least through most of the book, although there is a redemptive aspect to one of the worse, and a few positive minor male characters like Samuel and Adam and Jack. There's a strong spiritual theme in the book--as you might guess from a book mostly composed of "Dear God" letters (and ending with "Amen.") It's important--but I never feel it was preachy--and ties in very closely with the title: But more than anything else, God love admiration.You saying God vain? I ast.Naw, she say. Not vain, just wanting to share a good thing. I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don't notice it. What it do when it pissed off? I ast. Oh, it make something else. People think pleasing God is all God care about. But any fool living in the world can see it always trying to please us back.It's a pretty harrowing book for most of its length--but with passages of beauty, glints of humor and strong friendships among women--dark in themes and content but ultimately not depressing. I enjoyed the Spielberg film adaptation too. I think it would be hard to beat his cast. But compared to the book it feels like a Disney production.more
I was introduced last year to Alice Walker through her masterful short story “Everyday Use”, which in my mind thoroughly embodies the short story as a distillation of characters, plots, and messages into the purest expression of an idea. That’s probably why I ultimately found The Color Purple a little disappointing. It is certainly a very worthy book in the way Walker sets out to itemize all the inequities and hardships faced by black women of the 1930s Southern United States through her numerous protagonists: primarily the narrator Celie, who starts the novel as a fourteen-year-old who has borne two children to her abusive father and is forcibly married off to a much older man; but also her sister Nettie who ends up a missionary in Africa; Shug, the flighty nightclub singer with whom Celie finds sexual awakening; and Sofia, Celie’s spirited step-daughter-in-law. However, the sprawling nature of the story and the sheer amount of ‘issue’ Walker attempts to include tends to overwhelm and dilute her message and ultimately, the effectiveness of her depiction is marred by uneven plotting, overly-similar and convenient dramatic resolutions, and frequent distracting continuity problems. The result is muddled. The few sparse pages of “Everyday Use” pack their remarkable punch from how Walker specifies a single story, and places in a character’s single moment the reaction against the built-up frustrations of a lifetime, and through the simplicity of the narrative renders it a reaction against the whole of history. In contrast, The Color Purple succeeds in saying nothing with that clarity of purpose or universality… though it tells many things and can be admired for doing so at least, with unflinching brutality and unapologetic morality.more
Wow. I mean. Really. Wow. You know how there are some books and their words wrap around you like a comforting blanket? Well...This. Is. Not. One.The Color Purple rips the clothes right off of your skin, leaving you bare and vulnerable. From the first freakin' moment opening the page. You are just THERE and you can't be anywhere else but THERE. Even when you're not.Wow.Have you seen the movie? I had. I thought I was prepared. Because the movie was devastating. I remember vividly being in the house that me and a couple of college friends rented, sitting there in the dark, all of us sitting on our furniture, chain smoking, drinking wine and crying. The movie didn't prepare me.Walker's words are music. Sometimes a sweet melody, but mostly a cacophony of pain and sorrow. Oh and how the characters change and grow with time, how they eventually find peace. And the dichotomy of the South and Africa? It makes me yearn to find pieces of literature that can show me the mysteries of that continent. I am incoherent and refuse to speak of the summary. It's The Color Purple! It doesn't need a summary.It is alive.It is life.more
The Color Purple isn't for the fainthearted reader. If you can tolerate some graphic descriptions of abuse (both sexual and physical), strong language, and sexuality, you'll be rewarded with some poetically beautiful passages.This is a novel in letters written by sisters Celie and Nettie. Each one's voice is distinct, but Celie's seems the most powerful. Celie had little formal education, and her dialect is more unique than Nettie's grammatically correct style. Both women address issues of racial inequality in the Jim Crow South, conflict and violence between husbands and wives/men and women, and poverty. Additionally, Nettie's missionary venture to Africa prompts her to reflect on the differences between African American and African cultures.Continuity issues always jump out at me, and this book has several. The time line between Celie's and Nettie's letters just doesn't add up. Events that seemingly span several years in Celie's account happen within weeks or months in Nettie's account. I don't think time was an important concern for Alice Walker, though. No dates are mentioned in the novel, although there are vague references to World War II. The story is more important than the details, and readers will do well to turn off their internal calendars and immerse themselves in the flow of the words.more
Celie's Southern voice comes straight off the page into your ear. There's humour as well as suffering, mainly because of the dry unsentimental way Celie observes things and tells it like it is. Genuinely uplifting, a triumph of the human spirit.more
This was my second epistolary novel in as many weeks and again a good read. Celie is a poor, black girl, barely literate and writing letters to God. Be warned that the story contains some pretty shocking events, including, in the opening chapter, the rape of Celie by her father. Sad and brutal for a large part, but ultimately hopeful Walker explores many themes including love, gender, race, religion, marriage, family, and sexuality. A worthwhile read and although I can't agree with Walker's ideas about God there is plenty to think about in this novel.more
Fantastic, I was soon lost between the pages, a Real MUST read.more
Very good book a little hard to read at times, but still in all very good. I didn't really like the letter/diary form it is written in, but it did not bother me. The Color Purple is a one day book, so if your bored and just wanting to read a little pick this up.more
The story of two sisters and their family from the deep South. Celie being the eldest and Nettie the younger. The story begins with Celie being sexually abused by her thought to be father, later only to find out he is her step father. She bares two children from him which are taken from her. She becomes emotionally scarred from the experience. Her father marries her off to a man who does not care for her but needs someone to take care of his own children. Her life seems hopeless until the mistress of her husband, Shug Avery, moves in with them. Through the love of Shug she realizes there is more to life, her life is worthwhile, and begins a journey to find herself. Meanwhile her younger sister Nettie leaves home and joins up with a missionary family, who have two children that look just like her. She later discovers that the children are indeed Celie's, adopted by the missionary couple. She sails to Africa with the family and lives there for 30 years continuously writing to Celie but never getting a response. Celie doesn't know if Nettie is alive or dead until she and Shug discover letters hidden from Nettie. The story ends with a reunion of the two sisters and their children. In the end both sisters despite their poor upbringing discover what it means to love and be loved and to have self dignity and worth.more
This book is a very good book. The book discuss the issue of how African American women were dominated by African American men during the time shortly after slavery. The book's main character is a woman named Cely who has been dominated by every man in her life. She was sexually abused by her father who later allowed her to marry a much older man who Cely called Mister. Mister was extremely mentally abusive and physicaly abusive toward her. He seperated her from the only family member who she loved and who really loved her back, her sister Nettie. This book focuses on Cely struggle to find herself and discover her inner strength, which she eventually finds. I would recommend this book being read by 11th or 12th graders. This book is very explicit and has a very mature subject matter.more
This story covers the life of Celie, a damaged and down-trodden black women living in the early 1900s. It follows her through years of physical, emotional and psychological abuse, and her resignation to it and to her lot in life. The one thing that sustains her through her life is her love for her sister Nettie, from whom she is separated. We get to know Celie through her writings to God, like diary entries, and later the writings of sisters Celie and Nettie to one another.The Barnes and Noble synopsis says that this covers 20 years of Celie's life, but I would think that is inaccurate. By the end of the story, the women are plump and gray-haired. They are definitely older than the 34 years of age that the synopsis would put them at!Celie has a childhood of abuse, being raised by an indifferent father after her mother dies. Even while her mother was alive, he began an incestuous relationship with Celie, raping her for the first time when she is 14. Her father marries her off to a man she doesn't even know, and she simply moves from one horrible homelife to another. Eventually she meets a woman that everyone calls Shug (like "sugar"), and Shug becomes a vital person to Celie over time and to her growth as a person.Celie may not realize it early on in her life, but she really is a strong woman. She only learns this later on through the love of Shug.I liked Celie. I really did. She was walked all over so much that she really underestimated herself. She built a wall around herself and didn't want to let anyone in. She became like steel-- rigid and nearly indestructible. I just kept rooting for her, hoping she would catch a break, that she would find herself and realize the power she had.There are many "unlikeable" characters in this book, and some characters that you feel somewhat indifferent about. But this story is really one of hope and redemption, and many of those unlikeable or indifferent characters experience a certain redemption before the book ends. And the author did so well at making me care about Celie that by the last chapter it only took the final chapter introduction to make me break down in tears, although I wasn't even sure yet whether they would be tears of happiness or tears of sorrow.This was a very good book. If you haven't already read this classic, add it to your Wish List!more
Load more
scribd