Mark G. Henderson
The Color Purple is told through the eyes of Celie, with her diary entries and letters from her sister Nettie. Celie lives in a world of racism, sexism and abuse in deep southern America (roughly 1910 – 50’s). She, as a black woman of her time, is poor and uneducated. After being raped, abused and impregnated by the man who is believed to be her father at the tender age of 14, Celie is forced into marriage. Her children were taken away to ‘be with god’, her sister escaped from the pain and torment and ran away to the home of a pastor, and her husband who is violent and abusive to her. Poor Celie has no one to turn to. No one except God. She writes to her diary confessing and letting out the anger and emotion which she is not allowed to express in normal everyday life.But Celie is soon fascinated by Shug Avery, who comes to stay with her, due to her poor health. Shug is the only person to show any affection to Celie, and stays in their house a little longer, to protect her from her violent husband. After decades of never hearing or receiving letters from her sister (who promised to write her), Celie assumes Nettie is dead. But with the aid of Shug, they soon discover that the letters that Nettie had sent to Celie were kept from her. The letters explain how Nettie had travelled to Africa with another family as their maid, and she soon finds out that the two children that she takes care of are really Celie’s children and finds out that the man, who she believes to be her father, is not. Celie, now an independent woman starts a sewing business and finds out that Nettie plans to return back to America with the children, and her new husband. Once reunited at old age, Celie and Nettie are truly happy and live in harmony with their loved ones around them.