The Portrayal of Men in the 'Color Purple'.

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The Portrayal of men ‘Color Purple’ There has been great controversy about Alice Walker’s portrayal of men in The Color Purple with criticism of negative intent of the males in oppressing females. Many reviewers were disturbed by the portrayal of black males, which they found excessively negative. While Walker was criticized for negative portrayal of her male characters, Walker was admired for her powerful descriptions of black women. Jacqueline Bobo viewed negative and positive responses about the novel and film. Bobo found one black women saying she knew many women like her mother and aunts who all had been beaten by their husbands. She added, ‘Black women should not be sacrificed for black men’s pride.’ Within The Color Purple there are many different male characters. The first men introduced to the reader are Celie’s father (Alphonso) and husband (Mr_) who are extremely violent and abusive towards women. However, the novel mentions other characters such as Old Mr_ the father of Mr_, Harpo the son of Mr_, Adam the son of Celie, Reverend Samuel and other males who appear not to have this male negativity and violence even though society would suggest men could not appear non-violent. Each male character embodies a different male in society and each type of male Walker wants to portray to the reader. Celie’s Father Alphonso invokes no sympathy in the reader. The first phrase introduces us to him, ‘You better not never tell nobody but God, it’d kill your mammy’. This is the first male image that Walker wants the reader to be aware of which immediately forms a negative male image. Pa is the cruel, violent, uncaring, sexually driven male that appears to be the normal man in this society. Pa is callous in his actions and at no point does he show any remorse or awareness of his cruelty, ‘Just say you gonna do what your mammy wouldn’t. When that hurt, I cry. He start

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