The Color Purple

Alice Walker

Suggestions for Further Reading


How to Cite This SparkNote

Bloom, Harold, ed. Alice Walker. New York: Chelsea House, 1989.

Dieke, Ikenna, ed. Critical Essays on Alice Walker. Greenwood Press: Westport, Connecticut, 1999.

Kaplan, Carla. The Erotics of Talk: Women’s Writing and Feminist Paradigms. Oxford University Press: Oxford, 1996.

Light, Alison. “Fear of the Happy Ending: The Color Purple, Reading and Racism.” In English and Cultural Studies, ed. M. Green. London: Chelsea House, 1987.

Smith, Dinita. “Celie, You a Tree.” Nation, September 4, 1982.

Walker, Alice. In Search of our Mothers’ Gardens: Womanist Prose. New York: Harvest Books, 1983.

———. The Same River Twice: Honoring the Difficult. New York: Washington Square Press, 1997.

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Celie's Abuse

by sprinze, April 16, 2014

I think it's important to specify that her abuse was psychological, emotional, physical, and sexual. Rape is one of the most traumatic crimes committed and I'm certain it contributed to her sense of powerlessness and low self-esteem and feelings of worthlessness and her revulsion towards sex. Both her husband and her father raped her repeatedly. It's important.


11 out of 12 people found this helpful

Shug and Celie

by sprinze, April 16, 2014

There's no note of sexuality here, which is also important. Celie was raped repeatedly by Mr., her husband, and her step-father. She grew numb to it, which can happen with repeated abuse especially when it happens so often. The only sex she ever enjoyed was the completely consensual and compassionate time she shared with Shug. That makes Celie possibly gay/lesbian/bisexual/queer, or even asexual because she wasn't actually concerned about the act but more the emotional attachment and connection with Shug. Without any other positive sexual ex... Read more


64 out of 76 people found this helpful