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How Walkers Manipulation of Celie’s Voice Conveys Male Attitudes and How Women Respond to Them (Letter 12)

  • Date Submitted: 10/25/2011 06:38 AM
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The Color Purple:
How Walkers manipulation of Celie’s voice conveys male attitudes and how women respond to them (letter 12)  

Walker’s extensive use of lexical choice, structure and characterisation conveys powerful views related to racism and prejudice. Throughout the novel Celie’s voice is dominant in reflecting such views from the perspective of a women; this is a dramatic contrast to one of which from a man. This is an important aspect to keep in mind as it helps us to understand the attitudes portrayed towards women at this time. From the extract, letter 12, we are able to see a segment of the novel of which perfectly portrays how women are treated within society and the male attitude towards this. We see this violent and possessive attitude shown toward all women expressed by Mr.___ to not only Celie but to his sister as well, Kate.  

It is glaringly conspicuous that Kate is that much more of a stronger character than Celie is and we are clearly able to differentiate between the two womens’ upbringings. Kate’s personality heightens the abusive and loveless relationship between Celie and Mr.___ and as the reader we have further insight into the men’s attitudes toward women. When Kate says to Mr.___ that he needs to buy Celie some clothes he responds by saying “she need clothes?” and then just looks at her. This in its self portrays this idea that women are just objects of possession, rather than another human being to be loved and cared for. Mr.___ is unable to understand Celie’s needs and therefore just disregards them. Even though he is her husband due to the fact that she is a woman her needs are not taken into consideration. This is something that Celie would be used to as she has had to put up with it all of her life, therefore more often than not disrespect and violence goes unsaid.

Celie then continues to say ‘He look at me. It like he looking at the earth’. The earth, a connotation of dirt, is used to describe Celie as something of no value...


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