Plot summary[ edit ] Celie is a poor, uneducated year-old girl living in the American South in the early s. She writes letters to God because her stepfather, Alphonso, beats her harshly and rapes her continuously. Alphonso has already impregnated Celie once, a pregnancy that resulted in the birth of a boy she named Adam. Alphonso takes the baby away shortly after his birth.
Plot summary[ edit ] Celie is a poor, uneducated year-old girl living in the American South in the early s. She writes letters to God because her father, Alphonso, beats and rapes her constantly.
Alphonso has already impregnated Celie once, a pregnancy that resulted in the birth of a boy she named Adam, but Alphonso took the baby away shortly after his birth. Celie then has a second child, a girl she names Olivia whom Alphonso also abducts.
Meanwhile, Celie's ailing mother dies after cursing Celie on her deathbed. Celie and her younger sister, year-old Nettie, learn that a man identified only as Mister wants to marry Nettie.
Alphonso refuses to let Nettie marry, instead arranging for Mister to marry Celie. Mister, a widower needing someone to care for his children and keep his house, eventually accepts the offer.
Mister physically, sexually, and verbally abuses Celie, and all his children treat her badly as well.
However, she eventually gets Mister's squalid living conditions and incorrigible children under control. Shortly thereafter, Nettie runs away from Alphonso and takes refuge at Celie's house, where Mister makes sexual advances toward her.
Celie then advises Nettie to seek assistance from a well-dressed black woman that she saw in the general store a while back; the woman has unknowingly adopted Olivia and was the only black woman that Celie had ever seen with money of her own.
Nettie is forced to leave after promising to write. Celie, however, never receives any letters and concludes that her sister is dead. Time passes and Harpo, Mister's son, falls in love with an assertive girl named Sofia, who becomes pregnant with Harpo's baby and, despite initial resistance from Mister, Harpo marries Sofia.
Harpo and Sofia have five more children in short order. Celie is amazed by Sofia's defiant refusal to submit to Harpo's attempts to control her. Kinder and gentler than his father, Celie advises Harpo not to try to dominate Sofia. Harpo temporarily follows Celie's advice but falls back under Mister's sway.
Celie, momentarily jealous of Harpo's genuine love of Sofia, then advises Harpo to beat her. Sofia fights back, however, and confronts Celie. A guilty Celie apologizes and confides in Sofia about all the abuse she suffers at Mister's hands.
She also begins to consider Sofia's advice about defending herself against further abuse from Mister.Alice Walker walked through the fire to give us The Color Purple. Essence magazine is said to have refused to run an excerpt, and Ishmael Reed led the charge to brand her as a man-hater.
Literary discussions inspired by the novel often devolved into shouting matches, split along gender lines. Book Summary Bookmark this page Manage My Reading List Alice Walker's The Color Purple weaves an intricate mosaic of women joined by their love for each other, .
Book Summary Bookmark this page Manage My Reading List Alice Walker's The Color Purple weaves an intricate mosaic of women joined by their love for each other, .
In The Color Purple, Alice Walker is able to illustrate the abuse, neglect, and oppression a black woman had to go through in the early twentieth century, but she also illustrate how a woman must fight back to regain the self esteem and confidence lost way back in the early adolescent years.
Alice Walker is one of the most famous and beloved writers of our time, and this is largely due to the novel The Color Purple. Born on February 9, , Walker was the youngest of eight children.
In this lesson, we will summarize her book, The Color Purple, and take note of some the key quotes that make the novel so memorable!
The story takes place in rural Georgia for most of the book.