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  • Titill er á ensku Gender Equality in the Color Purple: From Survival to “Wearing the Pants”
  • Bakkalár
  • Útdráttur er á ensku

    This essay explores gender equality in the novel The Color Purple by Alice Walker. The novel portrays how males, without any effort, are automatically accepted as the head of their household, their children and their family’s finances. The women, on the other hand, have to fight hard to claim equality. In my essay I demonstrate how Celie, the protagonist in Walker’s novel, is an oppressed person in the beginning, hardly knowing her own self, but through friendship with other women characters she becomes a strong, confident woman, claiming her independence.
    In my first chapter I examine how Walker marvelously exhibits Celie’s lack of identity and how a women’s voice is silenced in a male-dominated society. Walker portrays female strength in three very different characters in the novel: Sofia, Shug Avery and Nettie. Each of them has a different influence upon Celie, but they all take part in helping her finding her identity, as I demonstrate in the second chapter. Sofia’s independence and strength help Celie to recognize how weak she is but Shug Avery’s kindness and love build her up and help her gain belief in herself. She gets to know, and accept her own body and it initiates her desire for selfhood. Shug awakens Celie’s desire for identity and opens her eyes to what a terrible man her husband is. By connecting to Shug both physically and emotionally Celie claims independence from him. In Celie and Shug’s love for each other they find strength to stand up for themselves and claim equality. Celie’s relationship with her sister Nettie is influenced by their lack of communication with each other for years. However, Nettie’s will to learn and later teach inspire Celie’s individuality. Celie’s relationship with Shug is by far the most significant friendship of the three.
    In the last chapter of my essay I consider how Celie eventually gains full individuality by establishing a company that sews pants. She starts “wearing the pants”; that is, she takes control of her own life but does so in collaboration and acceptance of others.

  • 19.8.2015

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