Celie's Journey: from Spiritual Infant to Liberate Woman

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Celie’s Journey: From Spiritual Infant to Liberated Woman When a child is first born into the world they do not know right from wrong, their left from right. The child learns these things, as well as many others, from their caretakers; and it is the opinions and words that their caretakers utter, that shape the child’s mindset for most if not all of their life. Both writing and colors serve as symbolic markers in literature. Letters can represent a character’s pain and thoughts as well as inform the reader of actions that have taken place before the start of the novel. Colors in literature can portray a character’s emotions and feelings. In Alice Walker’s novel, The Color Purple, two symbols that contribute the essence of the novel- Celie becoming a liberated woman through all of her trials and tribulations- are letters and colors. Celie goes from a bound and depressed teen, to accepting her life for what it is, to finally in the end becoming a liberated woman, who is happy and makes the most out of her life. When the novel starts out, Celie writes to God. She is fourteen and needs to tell someone about what has happened to her. Pa, Celie’s stepfather has raped her numerous times, resulting in her getting pregnant twice. Pa tells Celie, “you better not tell nobody but God. It’d kill your mammy” (Walker 1). Celie feels hopeless and does not want to cause her mother any more grief, pain or suffering, so she says nothing and decides to write to God. Celie sees God as the only one that she can confide in, without having to fear the repercussions of an angry mother, and an even angrier Pa. Bettye J. Parker-Smith states, “The opening statement form Pa introduces a long list of pain-stricken letters to God. […] What Celie needs is to share her burdens, be taken off the cross, and find a way to save herself” (Parker-Smith). Celie’s pain is so great that it is compared to
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