Love and friendship are a necessity in life and in growing as a person. A person without love and friendship has no form of emotion or feeling causing them to question their sense of self, and their ability to form personal relationships. In the novel The Color Purple, the main theme is that man we as humans often defeat our problems through the nurturing and growth of close relationships. From this, Alice Walker explores numerous themes of love and friendship between vast arrays of characters.
One of the main forms that she addresses is the power of strong female friendships. The friendships of these women are so strong that they can gain protection, giving them the chance to share love in a difficult world full of male violence and dominance. However, these female relationships also take other forms involving a certain level of love; such as motherly or sisterly, teacher and student, and even sexual.
The friendship between Shug and Celie allows for them to experience all of these forms as Shug often plays the role of mother, teacher, and friend to Celie, yet also aids her sexually, while Celie takes the passive role. However, Celie too plays the role of mother to Shug at times. Their love and friendship begins simply with a picture that Celie has of Shug. Although Celie has not met Shug yet, the power and sense of presence that Shug exudes in the picture gives Celie a whole new idea in life that she has never experienced before, strength of a woman.
This picture also allows Celie to become emotionally attached to Shug, which also is a new concept to her, as she has lived her life without emotional connections with other people around her. Whilst falling in love with Shug, Celie is initiating a whole new start to her life, one that gives her the chance to be mothered instead of mothering. The relationship between the two women also allows for Celie to grow not only emotionally but also sexually.
Shug frequently asks Celie questions about sex and when finding that she has never enjoyed or climaxed during sex, or that she does not even know the names of her body parts amazes her. The theme of love and friendship is further demonstrated in the relationship between Celie and Mr. It is portrayed as questionable to a modern society, because of the constant exploitation both physical and emotional Celie has endured from Mr.
It is evident when reading the novel at the beginning that Mr treats her like slave as a white man would to a black man, he also makes her do all of the housework and raise his abusive children and forces her to have sex with him. The fact that Mr has deceived her in relation to her beloved sister gives Celie the courage finally to stand up to him and leave with Shug.
Goddamn, he say you nothing at all. And upon Celie leaving, Mr decides to change his erroneous ways and becomes a friend to Celie. And she was the only person love me in the world. Celie and Nettie have never stopped loving each other because their sisterly friendship and bond has kept them strong. Celie made it through her hard life with Mr, because her love for Nettie gave her a stronger sense of courage and self, allowed her eventually to realize that men were not there to control and take over her life, and to end her passive behaviour.
On the other hand, the relationship between Sofia and Harpo also helped Celie gain strength to stand above the male dominance. Celie is affected by their relationship because it demonstrates the crossing of typical gender roles. Upon realizing this, Harpo has a need to prove himself as tough by eating excessively, however I believe this to be his feminine side eating for comfort to feel better about himself. The fact that Harpo is feminine, Sofia masculine, and that one feels the need to commit to a role that the other does not, proves the balance between the two, and love they have for each other.
All of the words in this sentence are sharp and monosyllabic, showing that he is cut up and suppressing his true feelings. Later in the novel, as Harpo is making a net, we see a comparison to the previous sewing of the quilt between Celie and Sofia in which they were symbolically making a friendship, he is doing it because he wants to mend his errors and embrace the love again.
It is also evident that Sofia still loves Harpo because of the difficulty she had when leaving, and the few significant items she took which I believe contained loving memories. Celie begins the novel as a passive, quiet young girl, perplexed by her own pregnancy, by her rape at the hands of Pa , and her ill-treatment by Mr. Slowly, after meeting Shug and seeing her sister run away, Celie develops practical skills: she is a hard worker in the fields, she learns how to manage a house….
The Color Purple. Plot Summary. All Characters Celie Nettie Mr. All Symbols Purple God. LitCharts Teacher Editions. Teach your students to analyze literature like LitCharts does. Detailed explanations, analysis, and citation info for every important quote on LitCharts. The original text plus a side-by-side modern translation of every Shakespeare play. Sign Up. Already have an account? Sign in. From the creators of SparkNotes, something better. Literature Poetry Lit Terms Shakescleare. Download this LitChart!
Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Themes All Themes. Symbols All Symbols. Theme Wheel. Everything you need for every book you read. The way the content is organized and presented is seamlessly smooth, innovative, and comprehensive. Themes and Colors. LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in The Color Purple , which you can use to track the themes throughout the work.
God and Spirituality.