Last Updated 07 Jul 2020

Alice Walker’s The Color Purple: Analysis

Essay type Analysis
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Alice Walker's The Color Purple From reading the extract from The Color Purple, the reader is shocked almost straight away from how the character/narrator (who in this case is the author Alice Walker) is treated and brought up by her father. The way in which the story is told is in the form of letters and a kind of diary addressed to god as she is told "You better not tell anybody but god it'll kill your mammy". The reader can almost sense that this was written and was never expected to be read or seen by anyone else, it feels very personal and private to the young girl just between her and god.

The language she uses is appropriate in the way that you can imagine this fourteen year old black girl who is not very well educated, talking and writing this way. Putting her story across in a colloquial manner hammers home in a way the gravity of the young girls plight all the more as it talks to a broad range of readers and is understandable to all. Also the syntax with the short and punchy sentences again hits home and grabs the attention of the reader right away " My mama dead. She die screaming and cussing. She scream at me. She cuss at me. I'm big. I can't move fast enough".

The piece is extremely emotive and graphic with the images it invokes upon the mind of the reader. You can feel the beatings and torment she suffers on an almost daily basis. With this being a true story it feels all the more real to the reader as you can sympathise for this poor girl and the ordeals she is confronted with, it would be hard for a lot of people to empathise with her as it is an extremely harsh and dire time in her life and maybe through this work she has maybe helped people who are in a similar situation, which demonstrates how strong this piece is in creating the character/s.

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Again you can really feel for her plight throughout the extract it could be argued that writing a personal story is probably easier than that of a work of fiction, as there is no imagination required because the characters and story are already created. This said with the graphic detail in which the author/character/narrator puts her story across it shows a strength and humbles the reader for the way the author has opened herself to the world. This again gives the whole piece a sense of realness, which would be harder to convey if it were a work of purely fiction.

The reader feels and cares about the character's well-being right away from the first three or four paragraphs as she endures being raped by her father and the beatings which followed. Alice Walker has created here an extremely emotional piece by the way she has put her own story in to words and by using her own personal experiences of suffering. She has created a very strong character/narrator, so that anyone who reads this piece can visualise and feel as if we the readers are god and she is talking solely to us.

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