Alice Walker’s: The Color Purple Essay

Alice Walker’s: The Color Purple Essay.

Alice Walker’s: The Color Purple Essay

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Choose one of the topics offered in Module 6. Follow directions/ requirements in the prompt, and submit your essay by Friday night at the latest. Please be aware that all papers are run through TurnItIn software!

Format: 4-5 pages (min. 1200 word count), 1” margins, double-spaced, 10/12 pt. type. Use an effective structure that carefully guides your reader from one idea to the next, and edit thoroughly so that sentences are readable and appropriate for an academic audience. On a cover page or in the top left-hand corner of the first page, be sure to put your name, my name, our class, and the date. A relevant title (centered) is a nice finishing touch, too.

Labeling and file protocol: Files must be in a PC-friendly format; those sent submitted in a different format or without the proper file name will not be accepted and the student will receive F/ zero for the assignment. The names of files submitted must be saved as NAME.ASSIGNMENT NUMBER (i.e., Marc Bolan.HUM 135 essay). This is the name of the file on your computer, NOT the title you might give the essay itself. Students may submit papers as .pdf, .txt, .rtf, .doc or .docx files; on any word-processing program, use the dropdown menu under “Save As” to find these options. Or simply paste text directly into the text field. Either way, if I can’t open it, I can’t grade it, so no Google docs, Pages, Mac-only format, etc.

Here are four essay prompts (A-D). You must choose one to write for a letter grade. All term papers must be 12-1500 words (3-4 pages), typed, double-spaced, 1” margins, 10/12-point type. Put proper identifying information (name, class, date) in the header, and choose a good title that conveys your topic. Due Friday.

A: Reflection on Alice Walker’s The Color Purple. Choose one of these approaches:

EITHER: Consider it as a period piece (rural America in the 1920s), as a class portrait (working-class black Southerner), or for its rather unique heroine (poor black bisexual single mother). You may also assess it for its literary style (epistolary). You must refer to at least three scenes / elements of the book to support your interpretation.

OR: In what ways do we see the characters of Celie, Mister, Nettie, and Shug evolve or change during the story? Pick at least two people and discuss what changes occur in their lives and personalities. Cite at least three scenes in the novel that illustrate these changes.

OR: Compare & contrast the book and the Steven Spielberg film version, citing and evaluating specific differences in character, plot, and/or theme. Again, at least three major examples must be considered.

B: Amiri Baraka (LeRoi Jones): Dutchman (1966 film version directed by Anthony Harvey)

You have two ways to consider this important early piece of “racial justice” theater. In both cases, however, start by writing a clear, concise paragraph summarizing the plot. Then:

EITHER: What do you think Baraka is saying about race relations in America? Admittedly, the play is 50 years old, but it’s still powerful and every bit as timely, given the increased calls for racial justice that have resulted from the events of this past year. Discuss at least three points you think the play raises and comment on how they might still be relevant today (or not). Watch this interview clip to get a better sense of what the author was trying to do, and make sure to refer to at least one comment of his in your paper. (Links to an external site.)

OR: Alternatively, pick two scenes for each main character, where Clay and Lula make a particularly important speech. It may be her opening monologue or his closing one – it’s up to you. But you must interpret their words to explain their positions on race, class, and /or gender – all of which are issues that the characters raise. Remember, that means you need to discuss four separate scenes, focusing on the dialogue.

You can review the play here (in 6 segments/scenes): (Links to an external site.)

Also, find cast and other practical details here: (Links to an external site.)

C: Crossroads reflection: This wonderful adaptation of the Robert Johnson legend uses it to underpin a modern relationship drama that then takes a supernatural twist. Eugene (Ralph Maccio) hopes to become a bluesman with the help of “Blind Boy” Willie Brown (Joe Seneca), who once walked the same path as Robert Johnson, right down to making a similar Faustian pact (a deal with the Devil), and now needs Eugene’s help to undo it.

In your essay, consider both of the following points. You must make at least 3 connections to scenes in the film, using relevant quotes to illustrate your opinions.

  • What details in the film parallel or correspond to those from the life and myth of Robert Johnson, and in what ways? How does Willie follow in Johnson’s footsteps?
  • In what ways does Eugene (Ralph Macchio) become a bluesman? What lessons does he learn from his fellow travelers? In other words, what experiences does he have that would be the stuff of blues lyrics?

See here for cast and other useful details: (Links to an external site.)

D: Black Identity, Blues Literature reflection: Choose two (or more) of these pieces that describe or dramatize the Black experience, both socially and economically. Summarize the essays/stories in a good paragraph each and then express your own opinion as to how the ideas expressed there might connect with current issues of equity, inclusion, and racial justice. You must make at least two connections back to each essay or story. In a separate paragraph, you must also comment on the music and performances of Nina Simone to show how she aligns (or doesn’t) with the race issues raised in the essay. Choose at least two pieces from this list: Zora Neale Hurston,Their Eyes Were Watching God excerpt (chapter 18); Ralph Ellison, “Battle Royal;” Alice Walker, “Everyday Use;” Malcolm X, “Learning To Read;” Cornel West & Wynton Marsalis, “Jazz, Hope, and Democracy.”


Requirements: 1200 word count

Reflection on Alice Walker’s The Color Purple

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Reflection on Alice Walker’s The Color Purple

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, a five-stage concept comprised of primary and development needs, can be used to assess and scrutinize the evolving and changing of characters in Alice Walker’s The Color Purple. Maslow’s quotation refers to self-actualization, the maximum level or phase in his human development prototype. According to Maslow’s hierarchy of necessities, self-actualization is the ultimate inspiration, driving us to recognize our actual performance and realize our ‘ideal self.  Our needs are also known as self-actualization necessities; these include intimate and creative self-growth, which is accomplished by realizing our maximum potential.

Walker depicts Celie, the protagonist in The Color Purple, as progressing toward self-actualization. Celie’s maturation can be seen in her writings to God and her beloved sister Nettie. When Celie marries Mister, she can eventually evade her father’s violence, whippings, and sexual assault, and it is possible to attain her physiological needs (Bloom,2009). Celie increases security and protection after Shug Avery promises she will never abandon her until she is certain Mister will not beat her. Celie’s connection with Shug allows her to meet her needs for togetherness and intimacy. Celie’s husband Albert is yet another personality in Walker’s novel who shows significant character growth. To attain self, Mister’s development via Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs includes a lot of variability for Mister. When he inherits a portion of his father’s land, his basic physiological needs are met. He also achieves self-actualization when he decides to the right his wrongdoings and makes peace with his wife, with whom he had been fighting and abusing for years. All through the novel, Shrug and Nettie both experience self-actualization.

Celie has been abused and assured she is ugly since she was a girl. As a result, she decides that the ideal way to guarantee her viability is to remain silent and unnoticeable (Bloom,2009). Celie’s writings to God is the way she gets to express herself. God is a distant representation to Celie, who she questioned is bothered about her struggles. Celie does not do much to retaliate against Alphonso, her stepdad. When her husband assaults her; much later in life, she retaliates in a comparable passive way. Shug Avery, a gorgeous and supposedly powerful woman, becomes Celie’s good influence. Celie has the chance to appease the woman she adores and, at long last, to gain knowledge of how to fight back after she Shug into her home.

Shug’s motherly prodding aids Celie’s advancement. Celie progressively reclaims her past, sexual orientation, spiritual practices, and speech. Shug illustrates to Celie the associates and energizing ability of narrative when he says Celie is “still a virgin” since she has never had a fulfilling sex life. Shug also introduces Celie to new religious concepts, allowing her to assume an unorthodox, non-patriarchal God (Bloom,2009). Celie’s idea of identity is bolstered by Nettie’s lengthy letters, which she explores with Shug’s assistance concealed in Mister’s trunk, notifying her of her background and the destiny of her kids. Celie progressively develops to distill her feelings and opinions into a unique voice, as evidenced by her letters. Celie’s search for her voice ultimately results in an enraged outburst directed at Mister, in which she enchants him for his decades of torture and humiliation. Mister reacts in his usual insulting way, but his insults have no effect once Celie has gained the feeling of self-worth she completely lacks initially.

Celie’s self-actualization makes her a pleased, compelling, and enlighten woman. Celie adjusts  the deed of sewing, which is typically considered a task for female who are constrained to a domestic sphere, into a innovative  medium and a thriving business. She is finally satisfied, accomplished, and self-sufficient after years of being silent.Celie’s sphere of friends and relatives is supposed to be pals when Nettie, Olivia, and Adam revert to Georgia from Africa (Bloom,2009). Even though Celie has been through a lot in her life, she believes this is the youngest she has ever experienced. Celie transformed. She evolved to be strong and independent through many tests and hardships. Celie also developed a rigidity to the pain and misery she was subjected to by her stepfather and husband.

Mister, like Celie, undergoes a profound shift transformation. Mister treats Celie like a piece of property at first. Including during sex, he surpasses her like an animal and shows no human relationship.(Bloom,2019). Celie’s first encounter with raw anger commences when she learns Nettie’s letters, and it concludes in her frustrated condemnation of Mister in front of the others at supper. Celie’s has attained believe, ingrained in her by Shug, motivates her to confront Mister’s abuse with assertiveness and force. Mister has appraised his life and tried to right his previous wrongdoings when Celie gets back from Tennessee. Mister eventually pays attention to Celie, and the two start talking and sewing together. Mister ultimately conveys his desire for Celie to marry him on an equitable and based on mutual respect basis, but she declines.

Shug gives us a wrong first perception. She’s known for being a morally questionable woman who dresses incredibly badly according to the society, suffers from “nasty woman sickness,” and is rejected by her parents. Celie immediately detects something else about Shug. Celie is amazed by Shug’s glittery presence, but when she looks at his picture, she resembles her of her “mother” (Bloom,2009). Celie compares Shug to her mother throughout the story. Shug refuses to be affected by anybody other than Celie’s natural mother, who was victimized by stereotypes. Shug has constructed her uniqueness from her various perceptions, rather than yielding her desire to others and allowing them to impose an uniqueness on her.

Shug appears disillusioned due to her seductive style, sharp mouth, and so many earthly perspectives, but she is usually warm and empathetic at heart. When Shug becomes ill, she not only recognizes but also reciprocates Celie’s awareness and care. Shug takes on the responsibilities of mother, collaborator, lover, sister, instructor, and companion as his connection with Celie grows (Bloom,2009). Shug’s numerous responsibilities and responsibilities make her a volatile and unforeseen personality who travels through a whirling dervish of cities, liaisons, and delayed blues clubs. Throughout the book, Shug is Celie’s most continuous friend and confidant, notwithstanding her unpredictable nature and changing responsibilities.

Despite being smaller than her family member, Celie’s defensive player is Nettie. Nettie is a brilliant youthful female who recognizes the value of acquiring knowledge since she was a kid. Mister actually prevents Nettie regardless her brains and desire by keeping her writings from Celie (Bloom,2019). In her writings to Celie, Nettie emphasizes her isolation, revealing that, like Celie, she needed an empathic listener to hear her concerns along  ideas.Nettie’s letters create a crucial part in the novel, even though they are eclectic and encompass less raw encounters and feelings. Nettie’s encounter as a black intellectual moving around the universe in search of “the uplift of black people everywhere” is significantly opposite  from Celie’s. Furthermore, her letters, which chronicle Nettie’s hurdles  in Africa, broaden the book’s background and show that maltreatment of females by males, African Americans by racists, and even black people by their fellow people people of color is prevalent. Celie’s societal transgressions and hardships in Georgia match Nettie’s imperial, racial, and tribal despotism in Africa.


Bloom, H. (Ed.). (2009). Alice Walker. Infobase Publishing.

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