Book Review: The Color Purple by Alice Walker


The Color Purple 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.

Taking place mostly in rural Georgia, the story focuses on the life of women of color in the southern United States in the 1930s, addressing numerous issues including their exceedingly low position in American social culture. 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 seventeen because of the sometimes explicit content, particularly in terms of violence.

Continuing my journey true history’s classic literature, I stumbled upon the story of a strong woman, portrayed in the novel The Color Purple by Alice Walker.
I heard that this book was controversial, even banned because of its violent sexual content and aggressive language. In my opinion, it was banned because the world couldn’t handle the brutal reality of which the African American women had lived through in the past. There is no watering down when you read it. Ms. Walker had written it as true as it could be. Because of that, and my young age, I wasn’t great at holding myself together through the harsher and sadder parts. But it did open my eyes.
Celie is the star of this sad narrative. Composed of letters written by her, we get a viewpoint of her life since her father did that incredibly cruel and undignified thing to my dear Celie. At the age of fourteen too! From there, we watch as she grows up into a faithful but scarred woman. A series of events that will leave you rethinking on how lucky we are today. To live free and without fear.
What I loved was Celie’s strength. Through all that madness, she still treated everyone as a human. Being abused physically, verbally and emotionally, I admired her will to continue. To find the love waiting at the end of her own destroyed yellow brick road. To finally take control of how people will treat her and where she will move on in life. Also, the change in Albert was miraculous. I never, ever expected that old bastard to become human.
What I had trouble handling was the sexual harassment going on in the story. I continuously thought,”Does this actually happen?” I realize it does and now I finally, finally understand why we should teach our boys to treat women like queens and not use them like unimportant beings. This book tests your heart too.
All in all, I give this inspiring story 4 stars because of its unique quality. It was like music, a sweet gospel intruded with a cacophony of melancholic bursts tearing you down. Yet, I simply loved it.
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