the deep semantics of imagery in The Color Purple

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Deep Semantics Of Imagery In The Color Purple Apart from its endless potential to engender thought which it shares with philosophy, literature is ‘a category of labour’ (Ricoeur, 1981: 136). It is a structured totality irreducible to the sentences that constitute it so that the first problem it presents as a work is that of understanding (Thompson 1984: 178). Reading a literary text is, therefore, quite different from reading other texts; here, the exercise involves a back and forth movement. The critic observes the clues offered by the text and the validity of his construction is through the logic of probability (Aristotle). In Ricoeur’s deep semantics, metaphor is indispensable for it opens a wide range of possible relations a word can enter into. Any interpretation that promises to be valid and to follow this deep semantics should be by the hermeneutic process; that is, its force must be drawn from the text. In her reading of Alice Walker’s The Color Purple, Raychel Carter summarizes Celie’s life thus: Celie’s life is portrayed through imagery of colours and seasons. When feeling trapped, she is surrounded by many drab and dull colours. Upon the arrival of spring, Celie begins to grow and to gain some liberty. In the end, her life is full of bright, flashy colours because of her new achievements…. Walker uses imagery of colour shifting from dull to bright to highlight the progression of Celie’s having no freedom to gaining complete independence (2008). Dull, monotonous colours occur in the beginning to indicate her lack of freedom. This is seen during her shopping with Kate. What she needs is ‘something purple, maybe little red in it too.’ But there is no purple and even though red dominates they cannot buy it for Albert ‘won’t pay for red. Too happy looking. We got choices of brown, maroon or navy blue’ (20). Carter argues that ‘“ maroon” is significant
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