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Free Color Purple Essays: It Was the Worst of Times

The Color Purple Essay: It Was the Worst of Times

The book The Color Purple was written by Alice Walker. The book was not written in a conventional manner. It was a series of letters spanning the life of Celie, the main character. Most of the letters were written by Celie and some by her sister Nettie. The theme of the book is to be true to yourself in spite of difficulties and never let go of what you believe in. Do not let people make you think you are something that you are not, then you have the will to survive during the worst of times.

The Color Purple is about Celie’s life. In the beginning of the novel, we learn that Celie was raped by her father. We also learn that Celie’s mother is ill and is unable to take care of the family. Celie is forced to cook and clean for her family. Celie conceived two children because of her father’s continuous raping. She never sees her children and believes that her father killed them. A man from town wanted to take Celie’s sister Nettie as a wife, but her father convinces the man to take Celie instead. Celie is now forced to marry an older man who already has children. Celie’s husband constantly beats and rapes her without any remorse. He even made Celie nurse Shug Avery, his mistress, when she was ill. It is now that Celie learns from Shug Avery about love. Shug Avery encourages Celie not to take the abuse from her husband anymore and that she deserves better. Celie would finally leave her husband when she found out that he kept her sister’s letters from her. Nettie was the sole reason why Celie had managed to survive. Celie could not tolerate any more abuse and left with Shug Avery and Mary Agnes. Mary Agnes was Celie’s stepson’s mistress. Celie eventually meets up with Nettie and her two children whom she believed to be dead. She than goes back to her husband who has drastically changed since Shug Avery and Celie left.

This novel was set in the early 1900’s. During this time, the black people were oppressed by white people. They were abused and taken advantage of. Not only were the black people were oppressed but also women were oppressed. They had little freedom and were unable to be self-sufficient.

An Analysis of White Teeth by Zadie Smith

Zadie Smith’s multicultural, post colonial novel has been widely discussed in the literary

world. At the age of 25, Zadie Smith captures the immensely believable

lives of an aging Bangladeshi Muslim man, a too-concerned middle-class white woman poking

her nose in all the wrong business, and an adolescent half-Jamaican girl with self-esteem issues. Over the span of about 30 years, the three families in the book undergo

a wide web of separate but somehow connected circumstances, and Smith became an award-

winning author because of her writing.

It is not to say that Smith has not gone through criticism. Here’s what one review had to

say about the (at the time) budding author:

“This kind of precocity in so young a writer has one half of the audience standing to

applaud and the other half wishing, as with child performers of the past (Shirley Temple,

Bonnie Langford et al), she would just stay still and shut up. White Teeth is the literary

equivalent of a hyperactive, ginger-haired tap-dancing 10-year-old.” (Moss)

The review is pointed and scathing, nevertheless, it is necessary to keep two things in mind when

considering if the review’s argument is valid. One, White Teeth was the recipient of at least ten

awards, not to mention was placed on Time Magazine’s list of “100 All Time Novels”, a list of

the English language’s best novels spanning back to 1923. And two, that word in the publishing

industry says that Smith had written that review herself (Moss).

In that case, we can disregard her self-depreciation; as it goes, no one is a worst critic of

their work than one’s own self. But there is merit to some of the quote’s sentiments. Precocity and

hyperactivity are very accurate adjectives for …

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Smith.” European Journal of English Studies. 173-188. Routledge, 2004. Academic

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Moss, Stephen. “White Teeth by Zadie Smith”. The Guardian, 26 Jan. 2000.

Web. 26 April 2011.

O’ Grady, Kathleen. “White Teeth: A Conversation with Author Zadie Smith”. Atlantis: A

Women’s Studies Journal. Vol. 27.1. 105-111. Web. 28 Apr. 2011.

Smith, Zadie. White Teeth. New York: Random House, Inc., 2000. Print.

Squires, Claire. Zadie Smith’s White Teeth: A Reader’s Guide. Continuum International

Publishing Group, 2002. E-book.

Williams, Joseph M., and Gregory G. Colomb. Style: Lessons in Clarity and Grace. 10th ed.

Columbus: Pearson Eductation, Inc., 2010. Print.

Wood, James. “Human, All Too Inhuman.” New Republic 223.4 (2000): 41-45. Academic Search

Complete. EBSCO. Web. 28 Apr. 2011.

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