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Free Color Purple Essays: The Characters of The Color Purple

The Characters of The Color Purple

In The Color Purple, by Alice Walker, Celie, Nettie, and Mr.______ are developed gradually throughout the novel and their actions all seem to be intertwined and what happens to one of them effects one if not both of the other two.

There is a strong relationship between Celie and Nettie not just because they are siblings but because Nettie is one out of two people Celie loves, and this doesn’t exist between Celie and any other of her siblings. There are various things that bring these two even closer, one being the discovery that they both come from a different father which Celie discover from a letter from Nettie which reads “…and I pray with all my heart that you get this letter, if none of the others. Pa is not our Pa.” (182) and the one they thought was there flesh and blood father was actually only their step father. This brings them closer for it is so important and they are each others direct relatives for both parents are dead and they do not have any other brothers or sisters.

The second point is that they keep in contact when Nettie is traveling to and from Africa. This is more or less an escape for Celie for she does not really have anyone except for Shug that she loves so the letters are a way for Celie to keep not only with Nettie but also her two children that she has only seen for a for a couple of days in her entire life.

So the main bond between Nettie and Celie is one of love, and they demonstrate this by constantly trying to stay in touch even though they don’t know if the other is receiving the letters.

The relationship between Mr. ______ and Nettie changes drastically from love to hate. Nettie first introduces Mr. ______ into the story as the man she is going to marry, Celie says to Nettie one day “I say marry him, Nettie.” but when the marriage is disallowed because she is to young plus pa wants to keep her in school, but Mr. ______ is given Celie along with a cow so in the marriage to Celie Mr. ______ realises he’ll never get Nettie but he still loves her but Nettie begins to go off him, for his marriage to her sister.

The Climax of I Want You Women Up North to Know

Lines 85-97 of Tillie Olsen’s first published poem “I Want You Women Up North to Know” contain the climactic turning point of this poem, and the language and form reflect this change. Instead of being humble and disjointed victims who remain mostly anonymous, the workers are transformed into an angry and unified group of distinct individuals. This shift in mood is accomplished by three devices: imagery, grouping, and capitalization of proper names.

The imagery in this passage helps turn the tone of the poem from victimization to anger. In addition to fire images, the overall language is completely stripped down to bare ugliness. In previous lines, the sordidness has been intermixed with cheerful euphemisms: the agonizing work is an “exquisite dance” (24); the trembling hands are “white gulls” (22); the cough is “gay” (25). But in these later lines, all aesthetically pleasing terms vanish, leaving “sweet and …blood” (85), “naked… [and]…bony children” (89), and a “skeleton body” (95).

Another way this passage turns the mood of the poem is by using grouping and form to link the workers together, both in inference and appearance. Previously, each worker’s situation has been treated as an isolated story, literally separated from the others by a blank line. However, lines 85-97 are crowded together without spaces, suggesting unity by the very appearance of the lines. All of the grievances are briefly repeated, and then a sequence of “ands” binds the one-sentence recaps together. Yet in spite of this sense of solidarity, each person’s story is given its own sentence with a period boundary, subtly emphasizing their individual importance: solidarity is acceptable, but anonymity is not.

A final significant device in this passage is the use of capitalization. The proper names of the workers have been sporadically capitalized earlier in the poem, but here they are all consistent and correct. Again, this is an emphasis on individual importance, an insistence that each of these people deserves a unique proper name. The earlier all-lowercase names like “catalina rodiguez” (16) actually blend into the lines of poetry, suggesting crouching and obscurity, but here the uppercase letters in their names stand out clearly from other words. Interestingly, although the personal names are capitalized, “christ” (96) is left in lowercase, similar to the previous treatment of “god” (57, 60, 62). This contrast with the capitalization of the worker’ names implies that God and Christ have failed the workers and are now overshadowed by a budding self-confidence in the workers.

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