The Color Purple


The changes in Celie's character
For people to be equal they need a chance to become equal by self-discovering themselves. As we are growing older during our childhood we depend on our environment, parents, and peers to create our self-image. It is under our surroundings in which we are always trying to develop new insights in order to identify, clarify, connect and account for our beliefs. Even the underlying cause of dysfunctional relationships lies in crucial events in our life experience. The environment in which one is raised and developed will have a large affect on the individual. Most of the people that succeed in life come from stable families, in well positioned environments. While those that are not fortunate enough often don't have the opportunities to rise to the top or even get a chance to self-discover themselves. Self-discovery is important because it is intended to increase an individual's self-awareness, and help them to identify their own beliefs, skills, potentials, and talents. But when an individual is forced or destined to grow up in an atmosphere in which there doesn't exist a stable and firm family or environment, it will generally be hard for the individual to self-discover himself and succeeded in life. These kinds of individuals that grow up under these circumstances mainly suffer from depressions, sadness, and most importantly from low self-esteem. They suffer from low self-esteem because they were raised in low standard environments. Their personalities are excessively sensitive to social rejection, humiliation, and shame. One of the greatest literary examples of this situation is Celie, the main character in the book The Color Purple by Alice Walker. "Devoid of any and all respect, Celie, a persecuted African-American woman suppressed by tyrannical rule sparked from the agonizing, torturous fires of ignorance and egocentrism, prevailed against the incessant degradation of society's superiors, . . .a man's world"(Klosowski 4). As a result of Celie's environment she never get's a fair opportunity to self-discover until she gets away from her surroundings.
The society in which she lived forced her to act the way she did. Walker shows Celie as part of a community which shares struggles, and women are oppressed by men. In this society, " The white man destroyed the black man, the black man destroyed the woman( Klosowski 5). Celie is dominated and abused by the majority of the male figure in the novel including her stepfather. Her stepfather was a major influence in her life. Her stepfather raped her, causing the birth of two children whom he gave away to an old friend. The second man in her life, her husband, abused her not only physically by beating her but he also abused her verbally by calling her names. These two men left her subdued and passive. She became emotionally dead with this
suppression of her personality of who she was. she was just a person who cooked and cleaned and took care of the children without any consideration given to her. She is uneducated because her father took her out off school as a result of her pregnancies. Celie is raised in an environment where she wasn't allow to have a mind of her own because her father dominated and controlled all her actions. For example, Celie writes letters to God because she has been warned by her stepfather not to tell anyone (but God) who fathered her children. She can't trust anybody with her own problems,which is why she writes letters to God. Another submissive example is when she says, "He beat me today cause he say I winked at a boy in church. I may have got something in my eye but I didn't wink. I don't even look at men" (6 ). Celie has to do all the cleaning and cooking in the house, but even thought she does not like it she hides it from her stepfather and never complains because she doesn't think she has the rights to argue against him. For example she says, "I don't never git used to it but I can't say nothing"(2) Her stepfather forces her to do everything in the house because she is a female and females in her stepfather's mind have to keep their men happy as well as have a lot of respect for them. "Women are like children. You have to let'