Feminism and Racism in the Color Purple

How does Alice Walker show that feminism and racism is equally used in the context of race in “The Color Purple”? “He beat me today because he say I winked at a boy in church. I may have got somethin in my eye but I didn’t wink. I don’t even looks at men. That’s the truth. I look at women tho”. The book “The Color Purple” is about a young African American girl who is emotionally and physically abused by her father and husband. Her sister is the only person that truly loves her unconditionally. She is striving for her independence and her sister and children.

The events of Alice Walker’s life are demonstrated through Celie and the use of racism, feminism, and male dominance within the novel. The Color Purple is an excellent account of the life of poor black women who must suffer not only social or racism due to gender and skin color, but also one who suffers greatly by the hands of black men.

Feminism in the 40s caused a disruption of traditional gender roles. “As Martha Cutter writes,” The rape becomes not an instrument of silencing, but the catalyst to Celie’s search for voice”. Celie’s rapes become part of her life as a young African American girl, even after she was married off. “To her both men and women, were created equally, so they should have the same rights in society.” She is saying no human is unequal from another human that both male and female are equal. This caused feminism to grow and spread out though out “The Color Purple”.

Feminism in “The Color Purple” was widely open. “Likewise, In the novel of Walker feminist views can be seen clearly. There must not be superiority between sexes”. With the novel “The Color Purple” it showed a great deal of feminist views from Alice Walker’s perspective. “A true womanist honors feminine, especially mothers and the Earth, and could never truly accept a mislabeled “guy.” That womanist honor the earth and their mother’s love and they mislabel men that hurt them or other woman. Feminism wasn’t the only wide spread predicament that caused mistrustful situation.

Racism in the 40s was a common factor in life. “Within this historical, frame works, Walker processed to craft a narrative that ultimately transcends and transforms the social-cultural pathologies and existential “dead-ends” that distinguish the black female experience.” Walker had crafted a novel for black females who have or had experienced these “Dead Ends”. “The color purple ruminates on issues of salvation, shame, and silence as they manifest in the lives of early 20th century black women being in the U.S. south”. She shows the emotions of feeling a shamed and being told to be silent about what is happening to them as young black females. Racism has just as big a part within the “The Color Purple” as feminism does.

Racism was a huge topic for “The Color Purple”. “The novel represents the pitfall of the “Salvific wish”, a rhetorical gesture associated with representation of African woman that, according to Candice Jenkins, developed in the 19th century”. The novel explains how African American woman were treated no better at home then, they were outside their home. “It seems that to Walker, being a black woman is much more difficult than being a white woman”. Within that time period it was a lot harder for a black woman than it was for a white woman in that time period. Both feminism and racism show similar and different sides with the novel to create a certain literary fiction.

Feminism and Racism in “The Color Purple” shows the authors ability to relate to realism. “Solve literary scholar have criticized what they practice as the novel is fantastic, ”Happy even after ending “and have argued that the mound’s ending “leaves the percent’s of realistic fiction”. Scholars were amazed by Alice Walker’s novel and about how it creates realistic fiction to the audience. ”To her gender and racism are two different things which a black woman should struggle with”. These are the struggles that all black women will face within their lives as wives and mothers. Feminism and Racism helped Walker to create her own realism within “The Color Purple”.

Though there were other topics and themes of “The Color Purple”, Feminism and Racism are the issues that connects to realism the most. “She creates an identity that embodies her unique perspective of self and privileges here individual experiences within the social order”. She embodies that it’s okay to be your own unique self and that you can be different and privileged. “One of the most significant (and current) of thesis why she chose to create a supper abundance of binding loving women who triumph in spite of the odds, played off against weak, self-centered, and violent men.” She created the novel to give African American women the confidence to stand up and take charge of their lives as black African American women. Celie never really took charge of her relationship because she was to ashamed and afraid too.

Celie never payed attention to any men, but she did pay attention to women. Celie was trying to find her voice even though she never had one of her own. She never was the strong woman within the relationship. Celie wanted to find her own unique individuality. It’s important because it shows that people weren’t just racist toward the other race but also racist toward their own race.