The Color Purple
Alice Walker
Scene 1:
The scene when Sofia confronts Celie about telling Harpo to beat Sofia after Harpo asked Celie how he can get his wife to listen to him is a turning point in Celie’s outlook on life. I’m impressed by the way that Celie reacted to the situation. Although she tried to cover up for it at first, she owns up to her actions and explains herself. The fact that Celie’s immediate response is physical harm reveals that Celie has grown up and lived in an environment where woman and wives are abused and considered objects. Women are supposed to listen to the men in the family and obey if they don’t the consequences are cruel. Celie is beaten down and can no longer stand up for herself; she is weak and defeated and the only thing she understands is that she is a tool. She feels that she is property and is owned by her husband. In fact, she even refers to him as Mr. ¬____. She never writes down his last name, nonetheless calls him by his first name. Albeit all this, she is gentle, she “ain’t never struck a living thing”(43). Her external conflict is that she can’t fall asleep because of her actions. Her internal conflict in this scene is her battle with God. She told someone to beat their wife and she has sinned against somebodies’ spirit, Sofia’s spirit to be exact. Therefore, when Sofia asks why Celie would do such a terrible thing, Celie states “I say it cause I’m a fool […] I say it cause I’m jealous of you. I say it cause you do what I can’t.” (42) The development in this scene is significant. Sofia tells Celie that she can’t keep getting pushed around and the reason Harpo can’t control her because “all my life I had to fight. […] A girl ain’t safe in a family of men.” (42) Celie connects with Sofia and although her actions don’t change as the plot continues, she gains respect for the type of girl that Sofia is. The character development of Celie to this point is slow, yet reasonable. It would be unrealistic for the author to give Celie a dramatic change in her actions because Celie constantly lives in fear of change. I feel that one should emulate some of Celie’s traits but learn from others. One should take away from Celie to believe and to listen; however, learn from Celie’s mistake to not be pushed around and used. I can’t relate to this novel to the same level of severity; however, I do have situations in my life that are similar and to a much smaller scale. Feeling a sense of regret and uneasiness is a microsome of Celie’s situation. I often feel unsettled with myself after I know I did something else and can’t stop thinking about it until I fix it.