The Color Purple pdf is a 1982 epistolary novel by American author Alice Walker which won the 1983 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the National Book Award for Fiction. It was later adapted into a film and musical of the same name. The novel has been the frequent target of censors and appears on the American Library Association list of the 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 2000–2009 at number seventeenth because of the sometimes explicit content, particularly in terms of violence. In 2003, the book was listed on the BBC’s The Big Read poll of the UK’s “best-loved novels. In this article, you will be able to download The color Purple by Alice Walker as well as do the following:
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The color purple summary
A powerful cultural touchstone of modern American literature, The Color Purple depicts the lives of African American women in early twentieth-century rural Georgia. Separated as girls, sisters Celie and Nettie sustain their loyalty to and hope in each other across time, distance and silence. Through a series of letters spanning twenty years, first from Celie to God, then the sisters to each other despite the unknown, the novel draws readers into its rich and memorable portrayals of Celie, Nettie, Shug Avery and Sofia and their experience. The Color Purple broke the silence around domestic and sexual abuse, narrating the lives of women through their pain and struggle, companionship and growth, resilience and bravery. Deeply compassionate and beautifully imagined, Alice Walker’s epic carries readers on a spirit-affirming journey toward redemption and love.
Alice Walker born in 1944 is one of the United States’ preeminent writers. She is an award-winning author of novels, stories, essays, and poetry. In 1983, Walker became the first African-American woman to win a Pulitzer Prize for fiction with her novel The Color Purple, which also won the National Book Award. Her other books include The Third Life of Grange Copeland, Meridian, The Temple of My Familiar, and Possessing the Secret of Joy. In her public life, Walker has worked to address problems of injustice, inequality, and poverty as an activist, teacher, and public intellectual.
Information about the book (Amazon)
- Publisher : Penguin Classics (January 25, 2022)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 320 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0143137042
- ISBN-13 : 978-0143137047
- Lexile measure : HL670L
- Item Weight : 12.8 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.25 x 1 x 8.02 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #19,051 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #22 in Epistolary Fiction (Books)
- #140 in Teen & Young Adult Classic Literature
- #729 in Classic Literature & Fiction
- Customer Reviews: 4.7 out of 5 stars 9,684 ratings
The color purple Characters / Cast
As a young girl, Celie is constantly subjected to abuse and told she is ugly. She decides therefore that she can best ensure her survival by making herself silent and invisible. Celie’s letters to God are her only outlet and means of self-expression. To Celie, God is a distant figure, who she doubts cares about her concerns. Celie does little to fight back against her stepfather, Alphonso. Later in life, when her husband, Mr. ______, abuses her, she reacts in a similarly passive manner. However, Celie latches on to Shug Avery, a beautiful and seemingly empowered woman, as a role model. After Shug moves into Celie and Mr. ______’s home, Celie has the opportunity to befriend the woman whom she loves and to learn, at last, how to fight back. Shug’s maternal prodding helps spur Celie’s development. Gradually, Celie recovers her own history, sexuality, spirituality, and voice. When Shug says Celie is “still a virgin” because she has never had a satisfying sex life, Shug demonstrates to Celie the renewing and empowering capacity of storytelling. Shug also opens Celie’s eyes to new ideas about religion, empowering Celie to believe in a nontraditional, non-patriarchal version of God.
The self-actualization Celie achieves transforms her into a happy, successful, independent woman. Celie takes the act of sewing, which is traditionally thought of as a mere chore for women who are confined to a domestic role, and turns it into an outlet for creative self-expression and a profitable business. After being voiceless for so many years, she is finally content, fulfilled, and self-suf-ficient. When Nettie, Olivia, and Adam return to Georgia from Africa, Celie’s circle of friends and family is finally reunited. Though Celie has endured many years of hardship, she says, “[D]on’t think us feel old at all. . .Matter of fact, I think this the youngest us ever felt.”
Though younger than her sister, Nettie often acts as Celie’s protector. Nettie is highly intellectual and from an early age recognizes the value of education. However, even though Nettie is smart and ambitious, Mr. ______ effectively silences her by secretly hiding her letters from Celie. In her letters to Celie, Nettie writes that she is lonely, showing that like Celie, Nettie needs a sympathetic audience to listen to her thoughts and concerns. Critics have faulted Nettie’s letters for being digressive and boring in comparison to Celie’s. Although Nettie’s letters are indeed quite encyclopedic and contain less raw experience and emotion, they play an important role in the novel. As a black intellectual traveling the world in pursuit of “the uplift of black people everywhere,” Nettie has a vastly different experience from Celie. Yet her letters, which recount the problems Nettie encounters in Africa, broaden the novel’s scope and show that oppression—of women by men, of blacks by whites, and even of blacks by blacks—is universal. The imperial, racial, and cultural conflict and oppression Nettie encounters in Africa parallel the smaller-scale abuses and hardships that Celie experiences in Georgia.
Celie’s husband, who abuses her for years. Mr. ______ , whose first name is Albert, pines away for Shug during his marriage to Celie and hides Nettie’s letters to Celie in his trunk for decades. After Celie finally defies Mr. ______ , denouncing him for his abuse, he undergoes a deep personal transformation, reassessing his life and eventually becoming friends with Celie.
Our first impression of Shug is negative. We learn she has a reputation as a woman of dubious morals who dresses scantily, has some sort of “nasty woman disease,” and is spurned by her own parents. Celie immediately sees something more in Shug. When Celie looks at Shug’s photograph, not only does Shug’s glamorous appearance amaze her, but Shug also reminds Celie of her “mama.” Celie compares Shug to her mother throughout the novel. Unlike Celie’s natural mother, who was oppressed by traditional gender roles, Shug refuses to allow herself to be dominated by anyone. Shug has fashioned her identity from her many experiences, instead of subjecting her will to others and allowing them to impose an identity upon her. Though Shug’s sexy style, sharp tongue, and many worldly experiences make her appear jaded, Shug is actually warm and compassionate at heart. When Shug falls ill, she not only appreciates, but also reciprocates the care and attention Celie lavishes upon her. As Shug’s relationship with Celie develops, Shug fills the roles of mother, confidant, lover, sister, teacher, and friend. Shug’s many roles make her an unpredictable and dynamic character who moves through a whirlwind of different cities, trysts, and late-night blues clubs. Despite her unpredictable nature and shifting roles, Shug remains Celie’s most constant friend and companion throughout the novel.
Mr. ______’s eldest son. Many of Harpo’s actions overturn stereotypical gender roles. He confesses to Celie about his love for Sofia, cries in her arms, enjoys cooking and housework, kisses his children, and marries an independent woman, Sofia. However, Mr. ______’s expectations of stereotypical male dominance convince Harpo that he needs to beat Sofia. His efforts at abusing Sofia fail, since she is much stronger than he is. At the end of the novel, Harpo reforms his ways, and he and Sofia reconcile and save their marriage.
A large, fiercely independent woman who befriends Celie and marries Harpo. Sofia refuses to submit to whites, men, or anyone else who tries to dominate her. After defying the town’s mayor, Sophia is sentenced to twelve years in jail, but the sentence is later commuted to twelve years labor as the mayor’s maid. The hardship Sofia endures serves as a reminder of the costs of resistance and the difficulties of combating cultural and institutional racism.
Harpo’s lover after Sofia leaves him. As a mulatto, a person of mixed black and white ancestry, Squeak highlights the complex nature of racial identification. Although abused like many of the women in the novel, Squeak eventually undergoes a transformation much like Celie’s. She demands to be called by her real name, Mary Agnes, and she pursues a singing career.
Celie and Nettie’s stepfather, who the sisters think is their real father until Nettie learns the truth years later. When Celie is young, Alphonso rapes and abuses her until she moves out of the house. Unlike Mr. ______ and Harpo, who are transformed, Alphonso remains an abuser until his death. Celie inherits her house and property after Alphonso dies.
A minister who, along with his wife, Corrine, adopts Celie’s biological children, Olivia and Adam. A wise, spiritually mature black intellectual committed to “the uplift of black people everywhere,” Samuel takes Corrine, Nettie, and the children to Africa for missionary work. He tells Nettie the story that makes her realize Alphonso is her stepfather rather than her biological father. After Corrine’s death, Samuel marries Nettie.
Samuel’s wife. After moving to Africa, Corrine grows increasingly suspicious and jealous of Nettie’s role in her family, convinced that Nettie and Samuel have had an affair. While still in Africa, Corrine dies from a fever, opening the opportunity for Nettie and Samuel to marry.
Celie and Alphonso’s biological daughter, who is adopted by Samuel and Corrine. Olivia develops a close sisterly relationship with Tashi, an Olinka village girl. This friendship, which crosses cultural boundaries, serves as an example of the strength of relationships between women.
Celie and Alphonso’s biological son, who, like Olivia, is adopted by Samuel and Corrine. Adam falls in love with Tashi, a young Olinka girl. By marrying Tashi, Adam symbolically bridges Africa and America, and his respect for and deference to her subverts patriarchal notions that women are subordinate to men.
An Olinka village girl who befriends Olivia and marries Adam. Tashi defies white imperialist culture and embodies the struggle of traditional cultural values against colonization. She chooses to undergo two painful African traditions—facial scarring and genital mutilation—as a way to physically differentiate her culture from imperialist culture.
The wife of the mayor of the town where Celie lives. Miss Millie is racist and condescending, but she admires the cleanliness and good manners of Sofia’s children, so she asks Sofia to be her maid. Sofia replies, “Hell no,” and is sent first to jail, then to Miss Millie’s, where she ends up working as her maid after all.
The mayor’s daughter. Eleanor Jane develops a strong attachment to Sofia and turns to her for emotional support. However, Sofia does not reciprocate Eleanor Jane’s feelings because of the years of mistreatment she suffered at the hands of Eleanor Jane’s parents. Toward the end of the novel, Eleanor Jane finally begins to understand the injustices Sofia and other blacks have suffered. She attempts to atone for her part in the unjust treatment of Sofia by caring for Sofia’s daughter Henrietta.
Shug’s husband. Grady is a loving and sweet man, but also a womanizer. He spends Shug’s money flamboyantly and frequently smokes marijuana. When Grady and Squeak begin an affair, Shug seems relieved to be rid of any responsibility to her relationship with Grady.
The color purple Quotes
“Girl, you oughta bash mister’s head open and think about heaven later.”- Sofia.
“Don’t let them run over you…you got to fight.” – Nettie.
“Folks don’t like nobody being too proud, or too free.” – Cellie.
“I think it [annoys] God…if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don’t notice it.” – Alice walker, ‘The Color Purple’.
“Time moves slowly, but passes quickly.” – Alice Walker, ‘The Color Purple’.
“A grown child is a dangerous thing.” – Alice Walker, ‘The Color Purple’.
“It must have been a pathetic exchange. Our chief never learned English beyond an occasional odd phrase he picked up from Joseph, who pronounces “English” “Yanglush.”- Nettie.
“Well, us talk and talk about God, but I’m still adrift. Trying to chase that old white man out of my head. I been so busy thinking about him I never truly notice nothing God make. Not a blade of corn (how it does that?) not the color purple (where it come from?)…”- Celie.
“Us sleep like sisters, me and Shug.”- Celie.
“Mr._______ marry me to take care of his children. I marry him cause my daddy made me. I don’t love Mr.________ and he don’t love me.” – Celie.
“Hard not to love Shug, I say. She know how to love somebody back.” – Celie.
“I don’t like to go to bed with him no more, she [Sofia] say. Used to be when he touch me I’d go all out my head. Now when he touch me I just don’t want to be bothered.” – Sofia.
“I had enough bad luck to keep me laughin’ the rest of my life. Sat in that jail. I sat in that jail til I nearby done rot to death. I know what it like, Ms. Celie, to wanna go somewhere and cain’t.” – Sofia.
“The jail you plan for me is the one your gonna rot in.” – Celie.
“Everything you’ve done to me; I’ve already done to you.” – Celie.
“Celie, you has my sympathy. Ain’t many women allow they husband’s ho to lay up in they house.” – Old Mister.
“See Daddy, sinners have souls, too.” – Shug Avery.
“Celie: [to Shug] He beat me when you ain’t here.
Shug: Who do? Albert?
Shug: Why he do that?
Celie: He beat me for not being you.”- ‘The Color Purple.’
“Sofia: Now you want a dead son-in-law, Miss Celie? You keep on advisin him like you doin.
Celie: Dis life be ova soon. Heaven last always.
Sofia: Girl, you betta bash Mister’s head open and think about Heaven later.”-‘The Color Purple.’
“All my life I had to fight. I had to fight my daddy. I had to fight my uncles. I had to fight my brothers. A girl child ain’t safe in a family of men. But I ain’t never thought I’d have to fight in my own house! I loves Harpo, God knows I do. But I’ll kill him dead ‘fo I let him beat me!” – Sofia.
Details about the movie adaptation of the color purple by Alice Walker
The Color Purple is a 1985 American epic coming-of-age period drama film directed by Steven Spielberg and written by Menno Meyjes, based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning 1982 novel of the same name by Alice Walker. It was Spielberg’s eighth film as a director, and marked a turning point in his career, as it was a departure from the summer blockbusters for which he had become known. It was also the first feature film directed by Spielberg for which John Williams did not compose the music, instead featuring a score by Quincy Jones, who also produced. The cast stars Whoopi Goldberg in her breakthrough role, with Danny Glover, Oprah Winfrey, Margaret Avery, Rae Dawn Chong, Willard Pugh, and Adolph Caesar. Filmed in Anson and Union counties in North Carolina, the film tells the story of a young African-American girl named Celie Harris and shows the problems African-American women experienced during the early 20th century, including domestic violence, incest, pedophilia, poverty, racism, and sexism. Celie is transformed as she finds her self-worth through the help of two strong female companions.
The film was a box office success, grossing $142 million against a budget of $15 million. The film received acclaim from critics, with particular praise going to its acting (especially Goldberg’s performance), direction, screenplay, musical score, and production values. However, it was also criticized by some for being “over-sentimental” and “stereotypical”, and was boycotted by some chapters of the NAACP for its depiction of rape. Nonetheless, the film was nominated for eleven Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actress for Goldberg, Best Supporting Actress for both Avery and Winfrey, and Best Adapted Screenplay, but did not achieve a single win, and Spielberg did not receive a nomination for Best Director; it held the record for the film receiving the most nominations without a win at the Academy Awards since The Turning Point (1977) at this stage. It also received four Golden Globe Award nominations, with Goldberg winning Best Actress in a Drama. Spielberg received a Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement, and a Golden Globe nomination. The film was later included in Roger Ebert’s book series The Great Movies.
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Editorial reviews and praise for the book- The color purple by Alice walker
“Reading The Color Purple was the first time I had seen Southern, Black women’s literature as world literature. In writing us into the world—bravely, unapologetically, and honestly—Alice Walker has given us a gift we will never be able to repay.”—Tayari Jones
“The Color Purple was what church should have been, what honest familial reckoning could have been, and it is still the only art object in the world by which all three generations of Black artists in my family judge American art.” —Kiese Laymon
“A novel of permanent importance.”—Peter S. Prescott, Newsweek
“Indelibly affecting … Alice Walker is a lavishly gifted writer.”—The New York Times Book Review
“A story of revelation . . . One of the great books of our time.”—Essence Magazine
“A work to stand beside literature of any time and place.”—San Francisco Chronicle
“Places Walker in the company of Faulkner.”—The Nation
“Remarkable expressiveness, color, and poignancy . . . not only a memorable and infinitely touching character but a whole submerged world is vividly called into being.”—The New York Review of Books
“Richly evocative . . . a vibrant fugue of devotion and search for love.”—Los Angeles Herald Examiner
“A national treasure . . . A rare and lovely book.”—The Cleveland Plain Dealer
“A saga filled with joy and pain, humor and bitterness, and an array of characters who live, breathe, and illuminate the world.”—Publishers Weekly
“My go-to comfort novel is The Color Purple, by Alice Walker. Even though it touches on difficult subject matter like child abuse and forced marriage, this story believes that human kindness, courage and love can defeat any challenge. Its big, beautiful happy ending is heartfelt and hard-won. Every single time I read this book, I walk away as a slightly better person than I was when I picked it up.” —Tayari Jones, The New York Times
Customer reviews on Amazon for the color purple by Alice Walker
If you, like myself, have seen the movie and think, ” I don’t need to read the story,” you’re wrong.
While there are, naturally, many similarities between the two…there are by far MANY more differences and they’re great. While both the novel and the movie can, and do, stand alone, I highly recommend you give both a chance. I combined them in my head as I read and I think it just heightened them both for me.
Please don’t pass on the novel or the movie if you’ve read or seen one but not the other.
SO well written.
And I’m still irritated that The movie was completely ignored during the Academy Awards that year. A combination of racism spread out against 2 different entities. Those of African heritage and those of Jewish heritage. Read this and watch the movie. You’ll regret neither.
3.0 out of 5 stars Disrespect
Reviewed in the United States on June 2, 2019
Sophie has 5 children with Harpo. No one knows who is the father of the 6th. Shug has two children by Mr.— but I’m not sure where they are or how many other children she has by who knows how many men. Squeak has children by Harpo who is still married to Sophie. No one has any respect for anyone. Everyone is dissatisfied with everything. Dysfunction. Dissatisfaction. Disrespect. The one story that was of interest was of Celie and Nettie’s parents who tried to make something of themselves but we’re brutalized by jealous, mean white men. I’m not sure why this is such a highly acclaimed book. To me it’s a bunch of children having children and disrespecting everything.
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow – This is epic, biblical, powerful, and finally beautiful with strong characters who realistically transform
Reviewed in the United States on March 13, 2017
The book discussion group met in March 2017 to enthusiastically discuss this. Wow, we loved this book. Most of us had seen the movie at some point in the past (and a few of us had seen the Oprah-produced Broadway musical), but it turns out this is a favorite book of a few members of the group and everybody liked it lot. We rarely get this kind of universal praise for a book, so you know that if you didn’t read it for group, you should still definitely put it on your list of books to read. Most of us agreed that the language is tough and off-putting for the first few letters, but you both get used to the odd spellings and grammar and also the writing gets better at Celie writes more. After eight or ten letters, it all seems pretty normal. The violence and cruelty is also tough and off-putting in the first part of the book but again, it gets less violent and you get used to it (what a horrifying thought!) as the novel continues. The words that readers used to describe the events and language in the novel are “epic,” “biblical,” “powerful,” and finally “beautiful.”
The story seems huge and the family tree is complicated with parents, step-parents, unacknowledged parents, forced marriages, lovers and mistresses, as well as two dead unnamed mothers. But the major characters are clearly defined and change during the novel and, unlike many novels, the changes are clearly explained and well motivated by events in the novel. Celie is so desperate to be loved that she loves everyone else without thinking of herself. The men are largely evil (this is probably a valid criticism of the novel) who are forced to learn and change by the strong and far more admirable women who shape them. We enjoyed discussing butch and femme women (as well as the stupidly masculine men as compared to the loving and generous men), the open lesbianism, and the alternate Christian theology presented largely by the openly sexual Shug. I thought that the African letters from Nettie were a bit dry and anthropological compared to Celie’s personal and emotive letters. And a few of the readers thought that the ending was perhaps too happy with everyone turning out to be a better, more evolved character. But these are quibbles compared to the well-drawn characters, the wide scope, the emotional fulfillment, and the positive changes that most of the characters undergo.
Laurel S. Starkey
5.0 out of 5 stars A book that makes you feel
Reviewed in the United States on September 27, 2018
When I first began to read this book, the language and the pacing drew me into Celie’s mind quickly. I felt her frustration and sense of hopelessness — like a log caught in a quick current, hurtling towards who knows where and unable to see the world around it. It seemed like the novel’s theme was survival and perseverance. The loss of her babies. Her forced marriage to a man she calls Mr —- The loss of her beloved sister. But then Celie meets love in the form of a wild woman named Shug and slowly the pieces of her life come back together until she is finally whole. The end of the book is very optimistic. I wouldn’t have predicted that. While we accompany Celie on her journey, we see the problems of poverty, the legacy of slavery and its twin children hurt and abuse. We see Black and White. We see strong women, weak women, abusive men, kind men. Alice Walker rips open Celie’s world underneath the scabs and lets the sun in. It’s a book well deserving of all the prizes and distinction it’s brought to its author.
5.0 out of 5 stars Always A Satisfying Read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 26, 2018
Alice Walker’s epistolary novel first published in 1982 went on to win the National Book Award and a Pulitzer Prize. Not bad for a book that is just a series of letters. But once you start to read it you realise why it won prizes and has been so popular with many people over the years. Rather ironically though in this country this seems to have had no real problems, but over the years in the US there have been attempts to have this banned from schools and libraries. Here then we meet Celia who initially writes letters to God as she tries to get things off her chest, but throughout the novel we find that she starts instead to write to her sister Nettie, who has gone to Africa with a family who are missionaries, and thus we have letters from her as well. Celie and her family come from the Deep South, and thus her letters, unlike those of her sister are in the vernacular, whereas Nettie shows a higher education with her letters written as you would normally expect.
Why this novel works so well is because we read of real human characters, that despite this being in the epistolary style do seem to come fully alive. Taking in so many subjects and themes, so we read of family secrets and murder, along with sexual and physical abuse, as well as racism and many other subjects. The thing that really comes through though is arguably the determination and resilience of Celie as we see how she progresses through the ups and downs of life, thus bringing up a string of emotions in us all. What also really makes this such a great book to read is that the characters grow up, becoming more mature, recognising their faults as well as trying to improve themselves.
5.0 out of 5 stars Full of hope
Reviewed in India on December 3, 2020
The Color Purple introduced me to Celie, Nettie, Shuga, and Sofia—four women with four different personalities and four different experiences. The only thing in common was that these women had been victims of racism, sexism and abuse, albeit in different ways. It is true that the raw narrative of rape and violence in The Color Purple may not perturb the contemporary reader; we live in a world where we’ve seen far worse. But this book is about much more than that. If you read The Color Purple, you’ll find that it is full of infinite hope. You’ll learn that going through adversities doesn’t have to make you bitter or unkind. I was surprised to know that some literary stalwarts don’t appreciate this book because of its very simple language. This simple language conveyed the raw reality of life with more clarity than any Virginia Woolf-esque prose ever could. Read it with an open mind, and I promise that you’ll learn something.
5.0 out of 5 stars sexual wilderness, violence, abusing women, and entangled relations
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 20, 2021
From the page one, you will jump into narration in Black American casual talk style early 1900s.
If you are not a native English speaker, you may have difficult to go through it, but still enjoying.
It is a story of sexual wilderness, violence, abusing women, and entangled relations.
Narrator is also character in the story, Celie.
Her mother died of mental problems, and her father was a successful store owner, and lynched by resentful competitors. She, and her sister Nettie are adapted by Alphonso; he brings them up like their father.
But he rapes Celie, and Celie gives birth to two babies; and Alphonso takes them away and gives to a childless missionary family. Celie, and Netie are grown up without knowing Alphonso is their step father.
Celie marries by a widowed character named Mr. —- to look after this kids, and the house work.
And eventually Nettie also escapes and takes refuge at Celies house.
Plot goes on with Nettie also leaving Celie, and after ages everybody coming back together again .
Book has a great narration style. You will get immersed in it, have no will to give a break.
It is a realistic novel, Author is the voice of this culture. Sometimes author uses explicit language like describing the rape scene.You will feel paradoxical on the moral values, and the realities in the field in these entangled relations. Author displays common moral issues, paradoxes through the life of black Americans.
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